Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Christian Distraction may decrease pain

The last weekend was interesting. I had a hot water heater that gave up the ghost. The experience helped to focus on some interesting things that pertain to pain management and how this relates to life as a Christian. It happened on Sunday. I stayed home to be ready to handle any disasters that might arise. During that time I saw my neighbor outside. He had missed church also. I mentioned my problem, just in passing. He seized on the opportunity and asked if he could put in a new water heater. We spent the next few hours together. In the end I had a problem resolved. Then came the shocker. My neighbor thanked me. He thanked me for allowing him to help. He then told me that he was out of his pain medication and that keeping busy as he had helped to distract him from the pain. Pain science now tells us what we have known for a good long time. Distraction aids in pain relief. The brain focuses intently and blocks out other stimuli. In the course of living life as a Christian we are not to live isolation. We are to be spending time with others. In the course of a life lived with other we are to minister to them and not just focus on ourselves. Christians learn in many places in the Bible that they are to serve others. We do this because our hearts have been changed. We do this because we are commanded to serve. We do it because God’s Spirit makes us willing. It is a mark of a Christian to serve out of love. My neighbor served me out of love. It also helped his pain. He did not serve to get out of pain. We are created in Christ to serve God and each other. We do this out of love. This along with a mindset that causes us to reflect often on God and his work is an important part of our Christian life. It may well have the side effect of helping to manage our pain.