But when we got to the patient’s room, a powerful dynamic took over. When I told the man we were visiting that my dad had had the same surgery, he lost all interest in me [his pastor]. He turned his attention to my dad and started asking questions. The next thing I knew, dad pulled a chair up beside the bed and the two of them were sharing experiences I couldn’t begin to relate to. I had to smile as I stood back and watched the two of them bond. I knew I was observing the awesome power of shared suffering.
-- Mark Atteberry in “Free Refill”