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Doctors use the Wong-Baker physical pain scale to determine pain level for children and adults. Why? The reason pain has a scale of measurement is that it is not quantifiable without it. As babies when we experience pain for the first time we react by crying. By adulthood, we become experts at dodging physical pain. In contrast, few openly deal with invisible pain.
Why are we novices at addressing unseen pain? Hidden pain is hard to comprehend because often we attempt to mask the side effects, with fake smiles and half-hearted statements of appeasement to outsiders. Unseen pain is internal. Sometimes if one observes a person long enough, invisible pain becomes visible. One may see side effects of invisible pain but, if it is not happening to us, understanding hidden pain is impossible. The source of invisible pain comes when our God-given conscience is disturbed.
Invisible pain comes from personal trauma. Sin many times is the cause of personal trauma. What causes sin? “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:1-3).
How do you deal with invisible pain? Make peace with the pain by addressing the pain head-on. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:17-18). With God’s help and the help of others, one can have internal peace.
The answer to invisible pain is forgiving self or forgiving others that have caused us pain. The absence of pain is peace.