Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Gift of Pain

Dr Paul Brand became known for his skill in reconstructive surgery as he spent a lifetime repairing the gnarled hands and thickened faces of people plagued with leprosy.

In an address he said that one of the main problems was that people with leprosy feel no pain. He spoke of a man who spilled scalding water on his leg and to his great surprise he felt nothing and instead of leaping for joy because there was no pain, he was sad. He realised he had leprosy and with this loss of pain would go the loss of pleasure.

Paul Brand said that pain is part of a brilliantly designed system and is one of God's most amazing gifts.

The condition we really ought to fear the most in life, is not the possibility of pain, but the total loss of feeling when we become numb and insensitive to the hurt of people around us.

If you're in pain for someone today, then be grateful for that gift. Be thankful that you're sensitive enough to feel these hurts.

Geoff Pound

Source: Address by Paul Brand in New Zealand, circa 1986.

Image: Paul Brand