Peace and Happiness in Pain and Sacrifice

by Gerry U. Limpo

Have you experienced pain and suffering? Most, if not all of us, at one point in our lives, must have experienced some form of pain and suffering. It can come in so many different ways, degrees and sharpness. It may be from being the subject and it may also be from seeing a loved one go through difficult trials particularly those concerning their health. Experience will tell us that nobody wants to go through pain and suffering or anything that pulls us away from our comfort zone or comfort seeking tendencies. Expecting someone to accept or impose this upon himself would be ridiculous.

Inasmuch as we all know pain and suffering, it is by the same token that we all know love. Out of the many, many words that can be used to describe love, powerful is definitely one we can all relate to. As it is by the power of love that God gave us Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sins. (For God so loved the world that He gave His only son…) It is also that very same power that drives us to do all we can for our loved ones. All the hard work, all the pain and sacrifices we endure, all the considerations that influence our decisions are all based on and centered on our love for them. Their pain and suffering in a way becomes ours too and we do everything in our power to help in anyway we humanly can. And when all these are done and given out of love, it ceases to be painful… Yes, it may still be painful if we are considering the physical aspect but it will bring with it an internal and genuine feeling of joy and peace. It no longer seems like a sacrifice or a suffering.

In 1996, my mother was in need of her second kidney transplant. We could no longer wait to find a suitable donor as she was deteriorating much quicker than she was before. We decided to have the kidney come from within the family since less compatibility tests would be required for related donors (at that time, at least) compared to non-related donors. After initial tests, I turned out to be the most ideal donor. Perhaps a normal reaction for most, at this point, I started thinking about the procedure itself, the before and after and what I would have to go through not to mention my concern that these events may stress my wife who was 8 months pregnant with our second child. These all however, were overshadowed by my desire to be able to somewhat improve my mom’s quality of life. I focused on the end result. I must say that at the end of it all, it was well worth what seemed to be pain and sacrifice but in reality, it was peace, love and joy.

As published in the April 9 issue of the Parish Bulletin.