On Monday UPS delivered the order. A new Broyhill mattress topper. Waking Tuesday morning, I glanced at the clock expecting it to read 2am, the usual time pain starts to creep in and interrupt dreams. But it was 6am and I stretched with little pain. Wow. A little thing, 4″ of foam, well maybe not so little, it did feel like sleeping on a cloud. I can’t remember the last time I slept completely through the night.

New Sleep Topper

But little things DO seem to make a difference. In the summer I volunteer for a therapeutic riding program. The program is in it’s 22nd year. I was the founder and instructor for 10 years until I passed on the baton. It’s now in the 3rd generation of instructors and going strong. It makes me proud to watch it succeed. I was talking with a fellow volunteer during the awards banquet on Saturday and we were both happy to help make good memories and put smiles on the faces of the children with disabilities we had served the past two months.

Our conversation turned philosophical and personal. I shared my own journey in chronic pain and how my work focus is now to help others overcome pain. I shared Col. 1:24 “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” and explained how there is a mystery associated with pain and suffering. Most of the children we served in the riding program were born with their disability and I feel their journey on earth is a redemptive spiritual journey.

Suffering can be “offered up” and applied to helping others get to heaven and some of those kids in the therapeutic riding program have known a lot of suffering. I honor the mystical work that those who have unavoidable suffering through disability or injury or a loss of some type. I honor their spirit and work to lift them up. And I also work to help to alleviate pain. Even though suffering can be offered up for a greater good, pain itself is an evil to eradicate. It’s a mystery revealed through the cross of Christ … taking something that would be considered meaningless and detestable (suffering) and elevating it to God.

Becky Cook. Becky. B-e-c-k-y. Oh, my name was called out. I won one of the volunteer prizes from the drawing. Cool. I walk up and  the conversation ends with my fellow volunteer. I happily accept the little gift and reach for a brownie before walking back to my chair. I sit and another volunteer and I begin chatting about horses and the saddle fit course I will be teaching next month. I explain my goal to relieve stress and pain for both horse and rider.

I believe it’s the little things that do make a difference … kids smiles, comfortable beds, happy horses. In little ways I try to relieve suffering. Mine and others. And when it can’t be relieved I bless it and offer it up, putting it in God’s hands.

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