I feel lonely. I feel angry. I feel ready to give up. I want to find a shovel, dig a hole and then hide in it.
But then I feel guilty.
How can I claim to feel hurt and feel pain, when I know all too well that I haven't seen the half of it?
I glimpsed into a world that is consumed with hurt and pain as we sat under the tarpaulin strung between trees, listening to testimony after testimony in a language none of us could understand, when suddenly screams.
Blood curdling screams.
Over and over and over.
We began to realise that the woman we had passed on the way in had just lost all breath.
Here we were a group of people in a foreign land, with death right in front of us.
There were many tears shed that day.
It is the not understanding, the unknown... the trying and the failing, to give insight and explanation into it all.
How can I claim to feel hurt, to feel pain, when this is their daily life? People die: young and old breathe their last breath. And that is normality.
Quick! Find an explanation.
I know people die, but death does not consume each day of my life. Not really. Not like it does for so many people across the globe.
A 9 year old boy who knows pain all too well said recently, “But if life is a game, aren't we all on the same team?”
Then we come to the crunch of the matter.
The pain I feel opens a door into the pain they feel, even if they're 4,307 miles away:
My pain takes sympathy and makes it empathy.
It takes it from being 'them and us'... to simply 'us'.
I may never wholly understand much of what others are feeling, but I do know what it is to feel pain. I know what it is to feel like the world is going to end, to begin to be consumed by darkness.
We really are on the same team, we may have a million differences, and each one of us may be completely unique, but we have a great deal more in common than we often realise.
Sometimes it is by calling out our similarities, and understanding the humanness on both sides that we begin to realise that just because our pain is different, it is no less significant.
This month as we have looked at 'Hurt, Pain & Hope in despair' at BigFatToothbrush.com I have struggled with how to react. Wrestled with my own opinions and theories and hurts from the past. And the truth is I just haven't really laid my heart bare. Still learning...