When pain is a constant companion
Sometimes tearing relentlessly at my body,
Other times receding to a nagging reminder
That all is not well;
Lord, deliver my spirit from complete domination
By the physical.
Draw my eyes toward You,
Reminding me that Jesus must have experienced
Unremitting pain upon the Cross
Without complaint.
And that He did it for me!
Help me to praise You -
Not FOR the pain, but in spite of it,
Because of who You are!

Focus my thoughts on things
For which to be thankful
Kind friends and caregivers;
Caring doctors and nurses.
Transport my mind to times and places
Of happy and tranquil memory;
Enable me to breathe deeply,
Slowly and steadily,
Helping me to relax taut muscles
So that pain will relinquish some
Of its total control of my whole person.

Lord, You designed and made these bodies,
And You have the ultimate power over pain;
If You remove the hurting I shall rejoice.
If not, I will be courageous and patient;
And either way, I will still love You!

Honoria A. Groves

(Written for my husband during an acute
stage of his battle with pain. He was on
morphine for almost four years.)

August 1990