For the past two days Israelis have been following the story of Shirley Marder. After taking a normal dose of Nurofen, a common painkiller, Marder sustained severe liver damage. For the past 48 hours the Israeli media are giving us minute by minute updates on the details of Ms. Marder’s liver toxin levels.
I want this young women to make it through just as much as the next guy, but I can’t help wondering, “Why is this story taking over all the national media headlines?”
Maybe it is just a welcome relief from the weeks of intense reporting on the seismic, earth-shattering and game changing upheavals in the Middle East and around the globe (Remember the Bible story of how Jael snuck into Sicera’s tent and hammered a nail into his temple? Now that was a headache, “and the pain was in tents….”)
But I wonder if Marder’s story is scratching a deeper itch.
Maybe we have become so accustomed to using these painkillers that we cannot imagine life without them, even though they are not good for us. Pain relievers are never “good” for us.
Maybe we have forgotten that pain is not the problem. Pain is the natural response of our body telling us that something is wrong. Pain tells us that there is a deeper problem beneath the surface.
But we live in a generation that cannot bear even the slightest bit of pain. At the first sign of a headache we run to the medicine cabinet to get some relief. I know I do. But do we also take the time to think about the reason for the headache? Are we willing to look at the emotional stress or relationship problems that might be at the root of our head pain?
Relieving the pain only pushes the problem deeper undercover. It always pops up again, somewhere, sometime.
Perhaps Shirley Marder’s liver is pointing us towards a greater truth?
The problems we are all facing, whether in Jerusalem, the Middle East or around the world are not going away anytime soon.
Maybe this story is reminding us that there are no quick-fix remedies for what’s happening in our lives, or in the world today. Maybe we are all being reminded by this story to take a closer look at what’s really bothering us, before taking yet another pain pill.