Guest Post: People Still Hurt

Pastor Brian Hughes and
Matthew on his birthday

Matthew O’Donnell is one of the most talented people I know. Thanks to the encouragement of his mom, we got connected through music at PCC. Matthew’s talents are considerable; his passion is contagious and his heart for people and for the things of God is obvious. It’s been an absolute joy to work alongside him for many months now. I am in awe of how Matthew is growing in his awareness of himself, of the greater good and of the kingdom of God.

He is a brilliant musician; if you’re around PCC, you’ve seen evidence. However, not many folks realize Matthew’s giftedness as a writer. He is the magic behind many of our skits and dramatic pieces, as the resident writer on the Creative Team. 

This week, Matthew shared a passionate piece of prose that encouraged, inspired and invigorated me. I’m biased because I am witness to the work that God is doing in Matthew’s life; regardless, this is a fine piece of writing and an exceptional dose of truth

I hope you’ll read it, and find yourself inspired. Here’s Matthew:

We all do our best to care for and pray for the people around us who are in need. We do a good job of reminding ourselves of these peoples’ presence in our lives and in our church, even remembering them when we go before God. Even so, people slip through the cracks. We are not God, and we’ll never have His heart for people, so our capacity for care, consideration and compassion is psychologically and spiritually limited. Everyone needs a reminder from time to time, so consider this yours for the day.

We pray for people who are in surgery, experiencing financial turmoil or turbulent work and home situations, navigating broken marriages, coming to terms with difficult diagnoses, watching loved ones suffer, figuring out how to keep moving after they’re gone, but time, no matter how much we may will it to stop in those chaotic moments of desperation and despair, keeps ticking. There are others to be remembered and prayed over. The natural triage of our attention shifts to more pressing needs. It’s not something to feel guilty about. It’s just something that is.

God knows the hair on each of our heads and the hurt in each of our hearts, and as impossible as it is to remember every person you’ve ever prayed for, it’s important to acknowledge that in a perfect world, we’d still be praying for each and every one of them. So take a moment. Think about those who have had their tour of duty on the prayer list and floated off the other end.

The man who lost his wife, and still, after all this time, has to wake up in bed every morning and be reminded that she’s not there beside him.

The kids who grew into teenagers and adults, but still bear the scars of their parents’ divorce.

The woman who was diagnosed years ago, and wonders how many she has left. 

The parents who carry the lifelong badge of having attended their own child’s funeral.

The man whose injury dramatically changed his life in a day, and it’s never changed back.

The woman who’s a lifetime away from the abused little girl she once was, but still feels powerless and haunted.

Take a moment right now to remember them. If you want to wait and devote some time later so you can think about it more, go ahead, but make it a priority to stop and pray for these people. If you can’t remember their names, it’s okay. God does. Intercede on their behalf in front of the King today. It matters just as much or more so now as it once did when their wounds were fresh. We won’t always remember to do this, but today you have a reminder. Take a moment. Remember them. Pray for them.

Thank you.

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