“I’m jus’ pain covered with skin.” ~ John Steinbeck
I think that we can all identify with Steinbeck’s quote at one time or another in our lives. There are times that we hurt and hurt big. We often see only pain with very little relief in sight. We might not only feel that way, it might be absolutely true. There might be no relief in sight. We all know people who have suffered — long term or short term — before their deaths.
But the truth of the matter is that we are not pain covered with skin. If we are going to be completely honest, we have to admit that we are pain covered with skin covered with love. Do we have pain? Yes, we all do from time to time. Might we suffer, maybe even agonizingly so? Again, that would be a yes. But are we covered in God’s love in the midst of our suffering? Absolutely.
The best proof of that would be for us to gaze upon and contemplate Jesus on the cross. As we gaze at a crucifix, we cannot really see love. We cannot see joy. All we can see is agony and death. When Jesus hung upon the cross, He was just pain covered with skin. But Jesus knew that over all of that He was covered in the love of His Father and that helped Him through His pain. It helped Him so much that in the midst of pain He was able to forgive those who crucified Him.
Because of Original Sin entering the world, our lot in life is to suffer and die. But as we suffer in life and as we face death we know that it is not the end but, rather, a new beginning to an eternal life free from pain, suffering, or death.
If your lot in life is to suffer, know that Jesus is suffering with you and for you. Allow yourself to realize that you are being covered in the Blood of Christ and that He has assured your redemption. That makes whatever suffering we may face in our lives that much more tolerable.
FAITH ACTION: Give your pain over to the Lord. Pray, as well, for those who feel hopeless in their suffering that God console them.