Hi. I’m Ken Jones, and this is “A Classic State of Mind,” with a Word About … Pain.

In the summer of 1983, an uninvited guest came to our door. He has his hand in virtually every aspect of our lives and insists that we plan our everyday routines and even our vacations around him. Frequently, when I embrace my wife, or even look into her beautiful green eyes, he is there. He goes to the same church we go to and sits next to us. He goes with us on long walks. He was not invited. He was not expected. His name is Pain. He has become an uninvited guest at our house. And he doesn’t know when it’s time to leave.

For most people, pain is a relative word. When a headache interrupts our usually painless life, most of us hurry to the medicine cabinet and grab a couple of aspirins. Within minutes, our acute pain has subsided, we feel better, and life goes on. However, for millions of others, chronic pain is truly a relative word, like a long lost cousin who drops in uninvited and unwelcome and doesn’t know when to leave. That’s the way it is our house.

I first noticed him when he would drop by for a casual visit, affecting my wife with his own brand of domination. She usually announced his presence with variations on a theme: “My legs are really hurting me today.”

It became increasingly apparent, he was taking advantage of our hospitality. We decided to seek professional help to evict this pest. After nearly two years of increasing discomfort and various treatments, doctors recommended that Randee undergo fusion surgery for the herniated disc in her lower back. Neurosurgeons performed the delicate surgery.

For days afterward, I sat in that hospital room and held her hand. I stroked her face and told her I loved her. But she couldn’t hear me. Pain occupied her thoughts. Nurses would come and tell me — the husband — that visiting hours were over. I had to leave.

But Pain stayed with my Randee all night.

Ten days after her surgery, we heard the good news from the doctor, “You can go home today.” I packed her things, the nurse wheeled her down the hall, and the four of us got on the elevator– Randee and me, the nurse….and Pain. I brought the car to the front door of the hospital. Three of us got in and rode off together. The nurse stayed at the hospital.

And so it was that Pain came to take up permanent residency in our house. It may be that he lives at your house too. Your pain may be physical. It may be an emotional struggle, or alcohol, or drug-induced pain. Pain can have many sources, but it needs only one definition: Chronic pain, regardless of its source … is an uninvited guest.

Here’s a short list of just a few things I’ve noticed, in our journey with pain:

There aren’t any ‘answers’ to the “Why?” of life with Pain.

Some days are better than others.

Some days are worse than others.

It helps when I pray for my wife.

It helps when she prays for me.

Living with pain is not the same as ‘dwelling ON pain.’

Pain will not stay forever. He will be evicted one day by the Guest of honor who sits at the head of the table.

Rev. 21:3,4 guarantees it:

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying…

or pain.”

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