Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Today, I didn't really know what I was doing until I woke up (which is a nice change of pace). We just finished training, and our groups aren't coming in until tomorrow evening. So, the hosts called me up and told me they were gonna hang out at the beach this afternoon. Hang out at the beach and work on my tan? Why not? Sounds like fun.
I ran some quick errands, and headed out to the beach to meet up with them (they decided to get out there around 11, I caught up with them around 1).
We did some quick swimming, then we mostly lay there and talked about stuff. It was a pretty chill afternoon. Around 5pm, some of the hosts decided to start heading back and since it was getting late, so did I. Apparently, one of our hosts is... not as dark as some of us from So. Cal. so she got pretty badly burned. It was actually pretty heartbreaking to see. This is her first REAL bad sunburn and she was actually so bad that she was dizzy and could barely move around.
At one point I stood there debating if we should drive her to the hospital and wait in the ER for like 7 hours for the doctors to tell me that there was nothing they could do and she needed water, sleep, and painkillers. (And sometimes they recommend aloe). At least in the ER I'm getting someone's professional opinion about what little we could do. I felt helpless. Sunburn is one of those things that make you feel alone. It hurts so bad that talking to others is difficult. You can't move, so you feel helpless. And worst of all, nobody can touch you, so you can't get comforted.
As I stood there watching her wrestle with her new found pain, I couldn't help but to think of the couple of times I had been through that. (yes today I'm slightly sunburned, but not NEARLY that bad). I wanted to tell her that everything would be ok. Her body would heal itself. The pain, though almost too much to think through, would eventually fade. And before long, the whole memory would be a story she told others to ward them away from the California sun.
But watching her eyes, and her pain, I couldn't say it. I felt like I couldn't ignore the pain she was going though, because it was real. genuine. consuming.
And I thought to myself. Is this how God feels sometimes when we struggle with our lives? Does He watch us go through our pain and want to tell us: "Everything is going to be ok." "With time, your body will heal itself." "The pain you feel, though almost to think through, will eventually fade." and "Before long, this whole memory will become part of the story of your life."
He's seen more than we can, He knows so much more, and He wants to be there for us... but maybe He allows us to experience pain because it is real and genuine. And with that timing He allows us to heal. He sits with us as we cry. He's quiet as we try to lay down for rest. He nurtures us when we need something. And He smiles at us when we look at His face.
-Jon Liu, CSM Los Angeles Scheduler