Walking in Their Shoes

There is an epidemic of addiction in this country, most of which are painkillers prescribed by doctors. I never understood how anyone could get addicted to these pills. I’d had them before, after my hysterectomy, etc., but never became addicted. So, how and why do others?

opiodOver 20,000 people died of prescription
pain overdoses in 2016.

Romas 12:15 says, Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. We are to be empathetic, sharing in the joy and pain of others. That’s something I’ve always struggled with, especially when it came to other’s pain.

Then a couple years ago, I had an issue with my back that led to pain all the way down my leg and around my knee. My doctor diagnosed sciatica. I did the exercises that were supposed to help. They didn’t. After numerous shots and talks, we decided I needed an MRI to make sure the issue was sciatica. It wasn’t. Turned out to be neuropathy or a bulging disc at the base of my back. I met with a chiropractor, and it helped for a couple of weeks, but then I relapsed. No one seems to know why.

I’m not telling you my story for sympathy. I want you to know that I now understand how someone could become addicted. I always thought it was people wanting to get high. But what it comes down to is most of them just want to be pain-free. Until you have a chronic pain issue, you have no way of knowing what it’s like to not be able to walk, sit, or sleep.

I now understand. It’d be so easy to take pills to keep from feeling because when you feel, it hurts. I have a hard time standing and putting pressure on my right leg because of the pain. I’m up to three Advil in the morning just to get going. There’s a procedure I will need to have in order to relieve the pressure on my back. That’s the next step in all this. I’m praying it works.


Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been all of these – Lloyd Shearer, author


We, as Christians, need to have sympathy for others and to not point fingers. We don’t know what occurred in that man’s life that made him decide homelessness was a better choice over anything else. We don’t know why that woman became a prostitute. Until we walk in their shoes, we need to pray instead of point.

I’ll never look at others who tell me they’re in pain with the same eyes again. Sure, they might be exaggerating or they might be trying to get attention, but unless I know for sure, they will get my sympathy and my prayers.

Until I live through your life, whether it be your past or your present, I have no right to judge you. I’ll leave that up to God. And until I know one way or the other, you will get my prayers.

If you have a need for prayer, please leave a comment and let me know. I’ll be more than happy to pray for you.


  1. Debora says:

    This may be true, however I met a lot of men and women who take painkillers just to escape and have become addicted. I worked to help them with there addiction. It is good to have empathy, but beware just the same. Believer in Christ

    1. It’s true, you have to beware. But praying for anyone, whether they are truly in pain or just addicted would never be a bad thing. So, if nothing else, pray for them to have clarity.

Leave a Reply