At this moment, my body does not feel any pain at all.
Unless you live with chronic pain, you probably don’t know what this means. I have lived with pain as a companion every day since August 2006. Every single day. There has been no respite, no time when I was free of pain. Not once. I mourned the loss of a pain-free life, just one pain-free day. Somehow I managed to keep the barest flicker of hope alive, but there were bad times when it was almost snuffed out.
Words cannot express the joy and deep gratitude in my heart right now. Even if this strange no-pain doesn’t stay with me through the entire day, even if today was the only day I’ll find it, even with that, I would still need to sing out praise and thanksgiving. It takes music, dance, art to tell you what it means to be without pain.
My joy is like the clear blue sky above,
autumn-clear, swept free of every cloud.
My gratitude is like the swift-running river,
fast and quick, dancing and jumping over rocks.
My delight is like a playful puppy,
a frisky kitten,
a child laughing and running.
My heart sings with the voice of the wind through the trees,
the voice of the ocean on the sandy shore,
the cry of the gull, the cheep of the cardinal, the song of the lark,
the roar of waterfalls,
the rumble of locomotives,
the quiet purr of the aging cat.
There is a cost for this lack of pain. The cost is my new medication. In terms of monetary cost, it’s in a higher tier of my formulary, and apparently not available as a generic drug yet. In terms of side effects, I’m dealing with somnolence and problems thinking. I hope that there will be an adjustment period, after which these costs will be easier to deal with. If not, then I will have to make some choices about how I live and work. But right now? Those costs are absolutely, completely, one hundred percent worth it.
A day without pain. How often have I prayed for this, begged for it, pleaded with God for it? Today it is in my grasp, and so I will sing.
Glory to God in the highest
and peace to the people on earth
whom God favors!
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant!
Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness,
and come before God’s presence with a song!
Sing praises of the Lord, for he has done great things,
and this is known in all the world!
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy,
for the Great One in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever,
world without end!