*Note – this post was written on April 16 but not posted as events of last week brought another tragedy much closer to home.

Strange thing, pain . . . whatever the source, physical, emotional or even spiritual. And yesterday for me, pain levels reached new heights.

Physical pain caused inability to function in tasks I needed to get done, pressed on my soul to give in.

Emotional pain, caused by the injustice and oppression in the lives of others I minister among, rattled around in my brain and burdened my heart.

Both causing spiritual pain as I wrestled before God in prayer, struggling with giving both over into God’s hands.

All three caused weariness, a heaviness of spirit and body that followed me through the day and into the night, keeping sleep at bay. Several books sit by my chair but it was my bible that drew me in and spoke peace to my soul, especially two verses in the Psalms:

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Ps 34:4  The Lord raises up those who are bowed down. Ps 146:8b

Sleep finally overtook me and when I awoke this morning, it was with a spirit of gratitude, trust and praise.

Soon after getting moving, I realized much of yesterday’s pain with its annoying, consuming nature and resultant cobwebs floating across my mind were gone . . . and I thanked my God. I rejoiced in God’s provision for today and confessed my sometimes lack of trust in God on days filled with darkness. I was reminded of my call to carry forward the love of God and presence of Christ into the dark places of other’s lives.

And then a glance at the newspaper changed the course of my thoughts from me to others. It brought me to my knees on behalf of the victims in Boston. Then the morning news brought a feeling of solidarity with the courageous people of Sandy Hook who had raced together to honor the 26 children and adults who lost their lives not so many months ago. The group’s organizer was interviewed and with tears in her eyes, she spoke again of their community’s determination to move forward together, ever remembering, ever fighting for a better world.

As believers in Christ, may we stand in solidarity with those who grieve this day. May we reach out in love, forgiveness and grace to those around us. May we continue to proclaim and honor the life of our Savior in word, and in our every action . . . and may God be with the people of Boston, the marathon community and the victims and their families.