As he stood beside boy #3's bed during our visit he shared with us an experience he had years ago. He was using a paper cutter to destroy some old check books when he accidentally sliced the very tip of his left thumb off. The weird thing was that he immediately felt pain in his right thumb. His right thumb. We stood there after he told the story, for just a few seconds, and thought about the implications of that.
I felt like that other thumb this week when I heard about my son's accident. Let me take the pain. I can handle it.
I feel this way when I know my husband has hit a spot that is especially tough for him. Or when my African son has gotten sick, so far away.
That referred pain in my life has been a sign to me that I love someone. It is an echo echo echo of the pain that He felt for us hundreds of years ago, kneeling in a garden. We copy it. We emulate it. We feel it.