> Spirituality > Personal Growth

Looking for God Amidst the Pain

July 28, 2016 | by C. Rosenblatt

The human soul can be a window to feeling the depth of God’s love.

Beside me in the hospital bed lays my lovely little daughter. She’s screaming in pain.

“Please, God, help me! Mummy, help me! Somebody, please help me. Take this pain away.”

I hold her hand while she squeezes mine with all her might. My heart constricts as I watch her and the echoes of her pain tear through the hospital ward. It is late at night, day three at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

With tears running down my face, I bring her close to me. Please, God, help my little girl. Do something to take her pain away.

All through the night, doctors and nurses stream in and out, but my daughter’s intense pain continues unabated. Modern medicine is simply unable to take it away. The nurse is sorry but she is only due more painkillers in a few hours, she says.

I look at the nurse in despair, then at my suffering little daughter….

A few more hours?! No! She cannot do it.

“Pray, my lovely,” I tell her, “God will listen to you.”

“No, mummy,” she tells me, “I can’t. It doesn’t help. Every time I pray it only gets worse.”

As she lies there crying, trying to talk to a God Who doesn’t seem to be listening, I get quiet and my mind begins to wander…

Is it true? Are You there? Is Someone up there at all? Is what they say true that You watch over us, that You take care of your children? We try to educate our children and show them that You are there. How is this helpful, God? Please, give my baby a sign, show her, let her know that You care.

Then my mind takes me back a few months and I recall the wonders I had seen in Kenya: the Massai Mara; the endless, beautiful plains; the awe, the vastness, the animals; that limitless, still, incredible space… And then a few weeks earlier in Iceland: the icebergs and glaciers, the black, volcanic beaches and majestic waterfalls… Stillness and beauty, that feeling of awe again….

And I know.

I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. I have no doubt that He is there. I’ve seen him, touched Him myself.

I put my head down and close my eyes tight. Please, God, I pray, help my little girl, please do something, please take her pain away… I don’t think we could manage any longer, You have to do something!

Then the door opens and a kindhearted nurse walks in. The previous nurse had read the chart incorrectly, she explains, and my daughter is overdue pain relief.

I look at her and thank her.

I am touched by her care and love, her softness and kindness. And I see something I’ve never noticed before…. God manifesting Himself through human kindness. For a beautiful moment, I feel God’s presence and touch reveal itself to me through human form.

“You see, my love, He listened. He sent this kind nurse to show us that He cares.”

As my daughter gradually healed and normal life resumed, I began to notice it all around me. Something so touching and special; that manifestation of God through human kindness.

The Swiss doctor, who didn’t have to come and check in each day but did so because she cared… The Indian doctor with her soft, kind manner who touched our hearts and filled us with comfort and hope… The hardworking, gentle nurses who came in after hours with love, patience and smiles…

In every moment of kindness I found so much beauty. Each moment of kindness filled and still fills my heart with gratitude and love, comfort and hope.

It points me towards that greater Being…that same power, sense of awe, goodness and endless beauty that we experience sometimes in the stillness and vastness of nature, I can experience today when I come in contact with human kindness.

I have discovered an antidote to suffering: human kindness is a great healer.

Often, the reasons for human suffering are not immediately apparent. We might not always feel God cares, that He is listening, or even there in the first place. Overwhelmed with my precious daughter’s pain, I discovered that God doesn't always show us He cares in the way we expect Him to or give us exactly what we are asking for. But if we look carefully enough, He does indeed show His care in many different forms.

In this instance, I found myself touched by human kindness and through it I experienced the beauty of the human soul as a window to feeling the depth and intensity of God’s love.

Click here to help my husband, Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt, publish his new book, “Why Bad Things DON'T Happen to Good People: A guide to dealing with pain and challenge gracefully.”

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