i paint i write

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Our bones are hidden by our skin just like our emotional pain is hidden by a smile

The bones in my neck are hidden

If you look at my neck you can’t see the bones that have arthritis in them. The scars on my inner body are invisible.

My neck was injured in a car accident in 1982. I was trying to cross three lanes of one-way traffic in my black, 1962, push-button, automatic Valiant that I bought  for $150 dollars in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in the summer of 75.

My 1962 Valiant

A man in the middle lane waved me on and I was hit in the driver’s door by a car who was speeding in the third lane. After three weeks of physical therapy my neck felt better.

I didn’t think about the car accident until the chiropractor showed me the x-rays of my neck. The shape of the neck should be a soft c shape. The c shape of my neck has a bend in it. Perhaps from whip-lash.

The pain I felt when I shoulder check on the left side when I am driving became as familiar to me as the sun rising and setting.

I stopped noticing the pain, until a few weeks ago, when the pain started to talk to me in the middle of the night, “Hey, why are you sleeping?  You can wake up now. Can I have a little heat please? You know you really should go and get this looked at. I am tired of feeling sore, and will you quit carrying that heavy purse on your left shoulder! And why do you have to carry a big bottle of water? And spend your change would you.”

“Okay, okay. All right all ready, I will make an appointment.” ( My dad use to say, ” All right all ready.” I hadn’t thought of that in years.)

My neck was damaged, and if left untreated it would have gotten worse. Ignoring the pain did not help heal my muscles and the bones in my neck.

Only by facing the problem,admitting the pain and asking for help, was I able to heal. The doctor gave me several exercises  to strengthen the muscles around the neck injury to prevent the bones from going out of alignment again.

There are area’s in my life that are painful to remember. I have tried to ignore them. I pretend they don’t exist, hoping I can move ahead by denial.

Seeing the e-rays made me think of  emotional pain that is hidden by a smile. Pain that needs to be acknowledged and brought before the one who created me.

An x-ray was necessary to see  my bones. My emotional wounds are not visible to you. But they are visible to God.

Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.

Psalm 139:4-5

The image of God laying his hand upon me is healing.

God made you and he loves you very much.

He will heal your wounds. And he will heal mine.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

Do you have emotional pain that is hidden by a smile?

Please let me know and I will pray for you. You can also e-mail me at pamela (at) ipaintiwrite (dot) com



About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • JeNan Merrill

    As if pain isn’t painful enough, often confronting it makes it even more painful. But you are right, that is how to get past the pain. I hope you are feeling better physically. And I hope you are healing on the inside of your heart, too. Thank you for the reminder of how God loves us and wants to rid us of our pain. And as always, your writing makes me smile, for example: “when the pain started to talk to me in the middle of the night.” That is just how pain works! Take good care.

  • Paul (birdsandtreesofthemind)

    Confronting and moving through pain is a requirement, both physically and emotionally. Especially when emotions are involved. We so often want to patch over things as a means of ‘cure’, which only tends to work in the short-term and attend to superficial symptoms. Instead, we need to walk long into the night with that source of pain, so we can acknowledge it fully and integrate it into our sense of wholeness.
    Whenever I visit your writing space, I leave with a valuable thought. You have a great ability to see deeper meaning in seemingly routine moments and experiences.

    • Hello Paul,

      Thank you for stopping by from Edmonton to say hello. I love what you said,
      “Walk long into the night with that source of pain, so we can acknowledge it fully and integrate it into our sense of wholeness.”

      Perhaps that is why I often feel sad, I try to deny the sadness. I will embrace my life and integrate my past into my present. It is part of who I am.
      All the best.
      Please say hello to Canada for me.

  • Jaana

    There is so much behind our smiles. Sometimes it is love, and other times it is pain. Your words are so comforting. Thank you.

    • You are welcome Jaana. I pray for God to lay his hand upon you and heal any hidden hurts.

  • Janelle

    I love that you bought your first car in Moose Jaw : )

    • Me too. I lived there for two summers working at Valley View, a home for the handicapped.

  • Diane Anderson

    Hidden pain, yes. Our God who cares, yes. Thank you for reminding us that He sees and knows just where to touch us.