A Poem for the Pain

She awakened from a nap to find an inspiring poem on her laptop. But who wrote it?

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- Posted on Sep 25, 2014

An open laptop sitting on rumpled bedsheets

Where did it come from? Who sent it? And why now? Who knew how desperate I was?

I was in bed browsing Facebook and checking e-mails. My husband, Steve, was cooking dinner. The next thing I knew Steve was shaking my shoulder. “Wake up, honey!” he said. “Dinner’s ready!” Had I fallen asleep? I touched my cheek. Tears. I wiped them away and focused on my laptop.

Facebook and my e-mail had disappeared. A Mircrosoft Word document was open on my screen: a poem titled “How Can I Count My Blessings When I Am So Sad?” The cursor sat flashing on a section:

Gone all our worries, cry no more,
For He gave His life so we all could be more.
And He cried along with us…but promised us this:
I am
I am
I am.

Cry no more... My eyes were riveted on that phrase. Three months earlier I lost my work-from-home sales job, and with it any sense of hope that life was going to get better. A botched stomach surgery had left me virtually bedridden with complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS, a nerve disorder.

That job was practically all Steve and I had to support us, since he stayed home to take care of me. My eyes fell on the words a few lines down:

He wrapped me in His arms,
He held me close through the storm.
All fears, all doubts, all pain, I shout,
There’s no place for you here!

Oh, the pain! It was relentless. Just typing an e-mail or a status update on Facebook could be uncomfortable. I skipped capital letters and punctuation to spare my fingers. CRPS caused burning sensations on my skin, swelling in my stomach and legs, stabbing pains in my arms and hands.

My left knee was totally locked up. I dragged my leg, more deadweight than limb. I prayed every day, every night, for healing. My faith was strong, but sometimes my pain was nearly as strong. Whoever wrote this poem knew exactly what I felt. Knew it as intimately as I did. I read on:

Enduring each moment that feels like a year,
Not knowing what is to be next in our tears.

Yes! I hated not knowing! Especially now. I’d applied for disability but it hadn’t gone through yet. Would it ever? My work-from-home gig was the only way we’d been able to pay rent.

Before I’d fallen asleep, questions had hammered at my mind: What if we lose our apartment? Will this pain ever end? Where are you, God? Yet here, seemingly, was an answer.

I have His peace, I am loved.
No more worries, no more fears.
My blessings are so many, no room for tears!

The words seeped into me. A warmth fell over my body, through every muscle, every place of pain. Like some sort of healing energy. My blessings are so many. That was true.

I had Steve and our twin daughters, who were grown now but always willing to come help. I had our cat. Friends and family near and far kept my spirits up.

Where had the poem come from? Not an e-mail. Maybe I’d copied and pasted the poem from the web just before I drifted off. That was the only explanation. I checked my browser history. Nothing there. I highlighted chunks of text and Googled them, searching for the author. No results.

That’s really strange, I thought. Then I noticed a name at the top of the Word doc. Lori Cohen.

Me? Lori who didn’t know anything about poetry, whose e-mails and posts always came riddled with typos, and no capital letters or punctuation? There was even a copyright symbol next to my name—I had no clue how to make one of those using Word!

What would I say to Steve? “This was written on my computer, but I didn’t write it”? Even to me that sounded pretty far out! Steve brought dinner to me in bed. I decided not to say anything to him.

In the morning, though, I had a powerful urge to tell some friends of mine about the mysterious poem. “It had to be the Holy Spirit working through you,” one said. “That poem was meant to be shared.”

So I posted it on Facebook. For once, not an update on my condition, or my hardships. I’d never had so many “likes” for a post!

That night, I told Steve. “I know it sounds really weird.…”

“If it comforts you and others, that’s all that matters,” he said. So whenever I felt down, I read it and reread it.

Over the next few months, I found more blessings. We qualified for some medical-bill assistance that I had no idea was even available. Our daughters were able to help out financially, along with a church food bank.

My disability finally came through. I started saying affirmations several times a week for healing in Jesus’ name. Soon I could move my left leg more than before. Slowly I was improving.

Never far from my heart is that true Word document, the poem that held me close through the storm.

Read Lori's poem!

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