At this point in my life I’ve birthed two babies without any pain medicine whatsoever. It hurt and there’s a reason it is called labor, but in the last few weeks I’ve experienced an even more profound physical pain: kidney stones.
I had one in college during finals week but haven’t had any issues since then. Since April I’ve been having kidney issues again. It wasn’t until I took a trip in an ambulance at 2am to the ER that I put all the pieces together. Actually, it wasn’t until the CT scan came back and the pain meds kicked in that I put the pieces together.
It was our last night in Florida and we were packing to catch a plane the next morning. I went to bed in some amount of pain and woke up to nurse Mistletoe a few hours later and the pain was unbearable. It was all I could do to nurse her without screaming in pain. Anthony asked me if he should call 911 – an idea I’d normally scoff at. But it was 1am, we were 40 minutes away from the nearest town, and we didn’t have a car, so I told him to call. The pain was so intense, but as they loaded me into the ambulance the only thing I really cared about was my kids.
By many small miracles, we caught our 10:30am flight back to Denver. That evening, after a sleepless night and a day of travel, I took pain meds at 9:30pm and fell asleep. An hour later I was awake and in even more pain than the night before when I asked Anthony to call 911 – and I was already on pain medicine. Moving was painful. I could barely walk to the car and then Anthony drove me to the ER. Again, as I clamored into the car all I wanted was for my babies to be taken care of.
The pain comes and goes and I’m still going in for follow ups, but as I’ve been reflecting this past week on the pain I’ve been struck by how crippling it was. The pain was unbearable and I could barely move, barely communicate through chills and hot flashes and searing pain in my side. But despite the pain, my thoughts were for my children. Sure, I wanted to feel better, but I also desperately needed to know that they were okay, that they were safe, that they weren’t scared.
I don’t perfectly know the mind of Christ, nor do I claim to, but I’d like to think that He felt this way on the way to Golgotha and throughout His crucifixion. The pain would have been unimaginable, unbearable, humiliating. Yet He thought of us. “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” In His agony He still told John, “behold your mother.” Even when His pain was at its worst, He was thinking of us. Despite the searing pain, the unabated agony, He persevered because He desperately longed to know that we would be okay, that we would be safe, that we weren’t scared. The pain was overwhelming and yet He reached out, reached beyond the pain to comfort us, to save us. By His wounds we are healed. His pain heals ours.