Coping With Pain

Disabled Ghanaian

Over the many days and months that we were in Ghana this is a picture that we would see in most of the major cities across the country.  These people, men, women, children, and  elderly, would be on street corners wanting a handout from passerbys.  Most of the time, they would not pester, but ask and move on.  I saw some look at these people with disgust;  disgust for the person or disgust for the country for not taking better care of its indigent.  Some looked at them with apathy.  Some never even looked.

But for me (Alan) I saw them differently.  I saw them clothed with perseverance.  Here are people who have any number of ailments but continue to press.  They would be on crutches or in a wheelchair, like this man pictured to the left, out in brutally hot weather trying to make a living.  They might not have been doing something that seemed worthy, but their worthiness came in their tenacity and perservance.

Now that we are back in the U.S. and I am dealing with back pain to varying degrees, I often think of these Ghanaians.  I look to them for encouragement to press on towards the mark.  I love counseling missionaries and their children, even though I am in pain.  God has called us to this place, and humbled I sit ready and willing to persevere.



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2 responses to “Coping With Pain

  1. Alvie L. Davidson

    Excellent comments and observations. This prospective would make a better world if more people looked at this world with a different set of eyes..

    • Pat Melchor

      Thank you for your insight into these individuals and their perseverance. All people deserve respect, no matter what situation or position they are in. Until we’ve walked in someone’s shoes, we should not judge. (You may just show your ignorance if you do.) Our Father loves these people just as much as he loves us, and wants the best for them, within plenty and even within adversity. They are deserving of our respect and our kindness, as well as our love worked out in service to those less fortunate. Illness or poverty is not a sign that God has abandoned us or is punishing us for something we have done. Sometimes it is just the opposite. Just think about the last time you learned a great life lesson or turned to God with head bowed and asked for wisdom. It probably wasn’t during times when everything was going your way. It was probably when you had reached the last of yourself in a situation that was out of your control and you had to turn to God for the answers. God teaches us in all situations, plenty and lack, and he teaches those around us through the problems that we endure. There is always a lesson for us, if we are courageous enough to look for it.

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