By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

We enjoyed an extraordinary trip away over Thanksgiving;
the girls had booked our family in an AirBnB near Dallas, Texas, and the memories were life-changing and unforgettable.
Highlights will be reserved for other "write-ups" in later days but a certain little "tender" memory intersects me this morning.
On a certain day of our week together, the combination of an extended car trip and soft bed mattress caught up with me.
Excruciating back pain was mine.
Heat compresses, Ibuprofin, stretching, and tender-hearted sympathizers attended me.
It was interesting to observe the different forms of compassion extended me in my obvious ordeal of pain:
-Scot immediately employed himself by taking the mattress off the bed and laying it on the hard floor in front of the fireplace. He massaged my back and countered the throbbing pain with specific muscle stretches. He brought me my coffee and extended every little intimate healing influence he could think of.
-Daughter Hannah laid by me and experienced my pain contortions 'with' me. She applied practical remedies comfortably to me and remained constant in her attentiveness.
Because of her, I'm acquainted with a clay pack "thermi-paq" and highly recommend it to all my readers. (They can be purchased at Walmart and they hold heat amazingly). Everyone should have one for the hour of need and I'm utilizing it this very moment ... hence the revisited memory.
-Daughter Jessica made ready the "central living room," where all the action was taking place, and where all my loved ones were buzzing about.
She situated blankets, pillows, and the couch for my comfort and then aided me in getting myself in a "pain-free" state. She suggested that I lay on the blanketed hardwood floor, pull my knees up (picture a sit-up), and allow the couch to support the back of my thighs, with my calves and lower legs resting on the couch.
It worked wonderfully and we got to all be together!
She brought me a bowl of buttered popcorn, a drink, and popped a movie in.
-Joe and Clate afforded me with every little kindness they could think of and applied themselves wonderfully in every considerable remedy.
And then there was Owen.
Mmmm ...
My beautiful little "Owen," all of two years old, studied me carefully, gazing in wonder at my altered and unenergized state, and then he did a most beautiful thing:
He took on my exact position and laid down beside me. He curled up his legs exactly like mine and rested them against mine. We laid shoulder to shoulder, he held my hand for a little while, then took the bowl of popcorn and put it between us, and we ate and watched the movie together. He kept watch over me in a most tender, unforgettable way ... and I loved the little boy too deeply for words.
The image of "Owen and me" was caught on someone's cell and sent to me.
It's precious.
Memorable. Unforgettable. Tender.
Pain teaches us something about ourselves ... and others.
While I wouldn't wish for another "dose" of any such pain, neither would I wish it away for all it provided me with. I learned so much from it, and received so much in it.
It was part of the week and it made for the "whole" and the beauty of it in the end.
For beautiful people who enter into our pain, God be praised.
Ultimately, God reigns as "King" in extending and providing comfort to us in our ills, pains, trials, hurts, sin, darkness, and the like.
Ultimately, it's the God of our Messiah who stations and secures us with mercy, grace, and hope, and works to heal, deliver, and save us in our hour of need, trial, and pain.
Such a merciful, Merry Christmas, is ours.
Immanuel ... God with us.
Memorable. Unforgettable. Tender.
Have a "Mercy" Christmas ... and take time to position yourself beside someone who's experiencing pain this season.
"We have not such a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:15-16