Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Friends—Sharing Pain and Touching Wounds

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” Henri Nouwen, Dutch priest and writer.

Last Saturday, I participated in a mission project at my church for Sole Hope. According to their website, this organization is:  
A group of passionate, committed people who are putting closed toed shoes on African children, one pair at a time…Along the way, we realized we could not only help African children, but we could help African men and women by teaching them a simple trade—how to make shoes. And so we began. Then we realized we could teach others—homeless, unemployed, recovering addicts, and nonprofits—how to make shoes, so they could earn a decent living and raise funds for their causes. So Sole Hope is touching lives in the U.S. and Africa, and we’re only getting started! (

Sponsors cut out shoe parts from what we normally would cast away: old jeans, cloth, plastic jugs, etc. to ship to Sole Hope for the shoes to be made.

My friend Cindy was instrumental in bringing this project to our church for the ladies to participate in. In fact, I’m almost certain she will blog about the experience, so go over and check out her blog, My Little Corner, this week. When I think of missions, she’s one of the first people who comes to mind.

As I sat at a table cutting out cloth shoe patterns with pinking shears, a lady took a seat across from me, and we introduced ourselves. She said, “I know you. You’re Cindy’s friend.” As I thought about this later, it struck me that I’m often labeled according to my role in relation to someone else. When my daughter was little, I was “Lindsay’s mom.” Then Josh came along more than a decade later, and I was “Josh’s mom.” J

Being a mom is special. There’s no comparison, but being associated with someone you respect because of shared beliefs and the way they pattern their life is what true friendship is all about.

Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:12-15 

Is there any better friendship than the one we have with Jesus? Especially because earthly friendships can be fractured—even to the point of disrepair, or so it seems. When this happens, it’s hard to trust again. The healing balm is found only in the arms of Jesus. Being considered His friend is the ultimate in relationships. He’s the one person who will truly never let you down. He’s the one who can mend broken hearts and relationships. As Christians, we are to demonstrate Jesus’ love by sharing others’ pain and touching their wounds “with a warm and tender hand.” When I think of Jesus’ friendship, I’m reminded of this old hymn:

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there. ~Joseph M. Scriven

Do you have sorrow or a broken relationship you’d like prayer for? If you don’t want to share in the comments section, please feel free to e-mail me confidential requests. I’d love to pray for you.

God bless,

©Laura Hodges Poole

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/


  1. I used to take such pride in being associated with my profession.
    It was strange when I first became known as being someone's mom. But each time I hear, "You're so and so mom" I beam with pride.
    Yeah, I'm his mom and it's the best job I've ever had!

    1. I agree, TC. There's nothing like being a mom. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. God bless.

  2. Love that old hymn, Laura, and love your post. Never really thought about the blessing of being called someone's friend, but it's true when that friend shines Christ is a special way. And what a great project (the shoes).