Pain is a great equalizer. To experience the grief, loss, hurt of someone else — whether we are physically present in their pain or not — draws us together and crumbles barriers.
Too many times I have distanced myself from others because they were different from me. I could not relate with them. I either placed them on a pedestal of greatness — beyond my lowly reach — or crushed them beneath my expectations, ideals, preconceived notions of righteousness, justice, normalcy…
And then, in an unexpected moment, I am made aware of their sorrow. Suddenly, they are just as human as I. My heart breaks, and I am convicted of my pettiness, selfishness, arrogance. We are fellow humans, this anyone else and I. We are created in the same image. Powered by the same process. Desiring similar things.
Perhaps this is a small part of why God still allows pain. Pain is one of the few things that causes a gut reaction to care, to love…without prejudice and without reserve.