On the Today Show this morning Melissa Stark reported on a five-year-old girl that has Congenital Insensitivity to Pain With Anhidrosis (CIPA) . She cannot feel any pain. She can feel touches and tickles, but absolutely no pain at all. She can run into a door and get up and keep on running and not even think twice about it. You would think a child free from pain would be a blessing every parent would want for their child. Not so!
The parents call it a living nightmare. She has no idea when she is injuring herself. At three she put her hands on a scalding hot pressure-washer and didn’t know to let go. It severely burned her. She has to be watched every moment to protect her from herself.
Melissa asked the parents, “You would never think you would want your child to feel pain, but you do?”
“We sure do!” They responded. “It’s a warning system. Hey! Something is not feeling so good! Let’s get it looked at.”
My heart went out to this little girl and her family. It also made me think about how valuable pain is. We mostly hate it, try to avoid it or blame God for it. We think it is a curse. The causes of pain might well be, but pain itself is a gift from God, both physical and emotional. It tells us that something is wrong and we need to stop and deal with it.
That doesn’t make me any more excited about having pain. But in this fallen world, the alternative would certainly be worse.