I Think I Can Feel Your Pain
I was on a prayer and writing retreat at my friends’ house in Twain Harte,
California writing my memoir from an extremely tough two-year period of my
life. I had lost my wife, my ministry, and my health (I was diagnosed with
bone marrow cancer) all within months. My friends started calling me, “Job.” I
was writing a chapter in the memoir called, “The Sufferers Club.” I was
struggling to explain the concept of what Paul calls, “the fellowship of Christ’s
sufferings.” I just couldn’t quite say it the way I wanted to. It’s probably mostly
because I don’t entirely understand the intimacy with Jesus (The President of
the Sufferers Club) that can be catalyzed by one’s own suffering. I only know
that I’ve experienced something of the Lord that beforehand was completely
unknown to me. It’s still very much of a mystery to me, but I think I’m getting it
more and more as time goes on.

I wrote in the memoir… I know that your suffering enables you to identify with
me, and I thank you for that. But I am coming to believe that my suffering puts
me in a position in which I may have a kind of fellowship with you that can be
precious. When I’m hurting it’s like I have something in common with you. I’ve
known that you are “close to the broken hearted,” and I have experienced that
nearness over and over. But this experience seems more than that. It’s not
just that you are close to me when I’m suffering, but that I am close to you. It’s
not just that you are feeling my pain, but if I am not mistaken about this, I’m
feeling some of yours. And when I do (this is all a bit mystical and kind of
Catholic for me), my sufferings seem more sensible, almost desirable. If they
press me closer to your heart and give me a better idea of what you felt as
human, and even feel as God, then I can endure.

When wrestling with this concept, how to understand it and how to
communicate it, I picked up my guitar and wrote this simple song. It helped
me. And may you find your own way to his heart.

My young friend David Paden did the recording on this song. Thanks, David!  

G   D           Em         C
I think I can feel your pain sometimes
G   D           C
I think I can feel
G        D               Em        C
It seems as if your heart is mine
G   D            C
I think this is real
              D                   G          D             G - Em
You were abandoned, rejected by men, and cried
C             D               G        
I think I can feel your pain                                                
              D                   G          D             G - Em
You were forsaken, discarded and then you died
C             D               Em
I think I can feel your pain
C             D               G
I think I can feel the same
G  D                C              Em
I’ll take up my cross and follow you
G  D                  G
I’ll take up my the cross
G  D                C              Em
I’ll carry my cross and die with you
G  D                  G
I’ll carry my cross