I was thinking today about the ways Judson’s time with us and his subsequent death have completely redefined my life. Everything has changed. Each little nuance of my existence is viewed from a different lens. On an emotional, spiritual, relational, mental and even physical level, all aspects of my being have gone through metamorphosis.
This redefining pain has also caused me to reflect on the depths of hardship in this world, triggering a redefining of pain; my understanding of heartache and anguish has been re-evaluated. Pain has new meaning.
The things in my life that I used to perceive as hardships now seem like simple nuisances. Previous challenges were really mere irritations. I was exasperated by simple frustrations and mistook annoying circumstances as suffering.
It has caused me to recognize that living here in the states I knew so little about true hardship; for most Americans, all our basic needs are met, often extravagantly, and yet we speak of our daily challenges as if we are deprived, oppressed, or in danger. Certainly, we all have difficulties, but put in context with the troubles, suffering, afflictions, and misfortunes of others throughout the world, many of our “hardships” are really just hassles.
I thought I knew pain—my greatest previous troubles felt so significant at the time, but juxtaposed next to the loss of my son, they now seem like mere inconveniences in an extremely privileged life. Clearly, I misunderstood the meaning of hardship…until I saw my beautiful son suffer.
And now that I have been intimately acquainted with pain, I hope it develops greater compassion in me for those who are severely afflicted.