I have lupus and today was a bad day. I am incredibly fortunate in that I don't have as many bad days as many people living with lupus have... but today was one of them. Today, swollen lymph nodes in my neck and chest are causing me extreme tightness, pain, and excessive crabbiness. OK... maybe the crabbiness is MY fault, but it was definitely lupus induced. Pain does that to me, sometimes. As I sat in my chair this evening, rubbing my neck, I felt the swelling and the inflammation and reflected on the general I've-been-hit-with-a-baseball-bat feeling that consumed my entire body. I felt like such a mess. I got up slowly and headed to my bedroom to change. I took a look in the mirror and thought how strange it is that there is absolutely ZERO signs of what is causing me so much pain. You can't see lupus. You can't see internal inflammation. Even where my doctor rubbed vigorously on my chest to help drain a clogged lymph node until the pain became so intense I stopped breathing, there's no bruise. Nothing. Nobody can see my pain. People walking by me have no idea what I've been through today, no inclination of the pain I'm going to be in while I try to sleep tonight, no clue what tomorrow will hold for me and my messed up body. The thought crossed my mind that maybe people with invisible wounds need to wear a hat that says, "I HAVE _______. I HURT. PLEASE BE NICE TO ME." You know, on a whole, we live in a society that helps people they know are hurting. We hold the door for someone in a wheel chair. We offer to carry a lunch tray for someone with a cast on their arm. We're mindful of physical disabilities and injuries... well, at least the ones that we see.
You know where I'm going with this.
We all have injuries that go unnoticed. We have rebellious teenagers. We have deployed husbands. We have broken relationships. We have disappointing friendships. We have financial problems, family problems, health problems, self-esteem problems, eating problems, schedule problems, work problems, and addiction problems. We have things that nobody else knows about. Ugly things. Painful things. Sometimes we all want to scream, "I HURT. PLEASE BE NICE TO ME!!!"
Friend, I want to remind you, that God sees you. He sees your pain. He sees your problem. Whether your neck is swollen, your heart is broken, your wallet is empty, or your life is lonely... God is there. Your wounds are not invisible. Your tears are not unnoticed. God knows the weight of the load you are carrying and He cares.
Maybe someone other than me needed that reminder tonight. Maybe someone else needed a word of encouragement.
Your wounds are not invisible. Jesus sees them. Jesus cares about them. You. Are. LOVED.