Friday, September 20, 2013

“It Doesn’t Hurt Like Nails”

I have a friend who spent several months researching the implements used in Roman crucifixions and determined that the iron nails with which victims were fastened to the cross were 6”-7” long and 1/2” wide at the broad end, only slightly smaller than a modern railroad spike. Subsequently, he hand–forged several of these nails, based on Roman dimensions, and sent them to a few friends. One rests on my desk, a harsh reminder of the pain our Lord endured.
I glance at that spike now and then and think of another friend who endured a series of back operations, none of which relieved his suffering. Chronic, throbbing pain became his constant companion. I asked him once how he dealt with his discomfort. He muttered in reply, “It doesn’t hurt like nails.”

We live in an age when most pain can be alleviated, but some cannot; it can only be accepted.  Jesus is our example in that He willingly embraced his suffering, resting in the will and wisdom of his Heavenly Father. (“Not my will, but yours be done.”) I think of His bravery and patient endurance when I’m inclined to grumble over the trifling aches and pains that accompany aging. Not one of them hurts like nails.


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