When Pain Pierces the Peace

Profanity pierced our peaceful night. It was shocking really and sent me quickly to my feet from bed. Not shocking that I was hearing those words, but shocked by the pain that was behind them, and it was Christmas night. There she stood, only feet from our front door, yelling so loudly at someone on the phone and staggering around, clearly disoriented by the pain she was feeling and the substances in her body. She wandered into the street moaning with a low guttural cry “Why, Why, Someone Help Me.” I wanted to help her but was afraid to open the door because she was clearly intoxicated. We called the police instead, afraid she may hurt herself.

alone in the street

She staggered across the street where she fell to her knees and continued to wail loudly and call two different people on her phone that she yelled threats and profanity at. It was obvious that she had been betrayed. Her world was now so full of anguish she was incapable of moving from the ground.

Our Christmas day had been a wonderful, peaceful day at home with our kids and a lovely lunch with friends. Our hearts were full of thanks for the gift of Jesus and the day to celebrate Him and be with each other. It was almost the perfect day, until the pain, her pain, pierced the night. Her bellowing cries still ring in my ears and I’m still thinking about it even a month later.

We watched that night as eventually the police had a detox unit take her away. She kept yelling, “I’m not okay with what they’ve done!” over and over. We stood in the dark of our living room, tears streaming down my cheeks, and prayed for her, for her brokenness, for God to somehow enter in. We prayed she would know that she was loved despite the betrayal she was experiencing. I continue to pray when I think of her, that she would know that God isn’t okay with what was done to her either. He’s not okay with the despair of this world and that’s why He sent Jesus. Jesus entered in, to the mess, to the wailing, to the brokenness. He enters in.

No matter how your last year ended or how your new year is beginning, I hope that you remember that God wants to enter in. He is the peace in the pain. He is the calm to the storm. He is present when others have abandoned.

I don’t know why God had that woman on our street, in front of our house on Christmas night. We felt helpless to come to her aid in a practical way. But I do know that because of it, she has been prayed for. When I think of her, I still pray. I may never see her again but I continue to ask God to enter into her world. Maybe it was just a reminder to me that whether we seem to have a life of peace and plenty at the moment, or pain and strife, He wants to, and can, enter into it. Will I let Him? Will you?

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