Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The friend of one who is hurting

Some of my friends and family are hurting right now. This was on my mind as I was driving home tonight...

I wish you knew that when you're hurting, I'm hurting too.
I wish you knew that when I don't know what to say, it's because I see the pain in your eyes or hear it in your voice, and no words seem right. I end up making a joke because that's what I do---I make jokes or say inappropriate things. In some weird way, I hope it helps ease the pain for a moment.
I want you to feel joy, not because I want you to pretend you're not hurting, but because I don't want you to have to feel sad anymore.
I want you to know that when I bring you food or watch your kids or offer to do some other trivial thing, it's me saying "I want your pain to go away, and I'd do anything to make that happen, even for a second."
I want you to know that you're on my mind all the time. Whenever I hear a song play on the radio that is fitting, I want you to hear it, but making you a mixed cd seems sort of cheesy. Besides, what if you don't like the same songs I like? What if you think it's weird to hear "Wonderful World" by James Morrison? I mean, it's not exactly insspirational. It just seems fitting for what you're going through.
Sometimes I think life just sucks, but I know that God is good. I know that God can take away your pain and give you hope, but I don't want to tell you that because I don't want to get all churchy and flowery on you. I don't want to, in any way, diminish the hurt. I don't want to placate you with pat answers.
Sometimes hearing "God is good. All the time!" when you're knee deep in a pile of "you know" is flat out condescending.
At the same time, I know the sovereignty and goodness of God is truth. He is going to get you through this. He is going to be your rock. He is going to show you that if you will let Him.
It's crippling to know that I can't do anything to make things easier.
In some strange way, God is showing me that there is one thing that I can do that is more important than any other thing: I can pray for you.
I know, I know...it sounds trite. It's what we Christians say to each other, isn't it?
I want you to know that when I pray for you, my heart is pleading on your behalf that God will take some of the pain away; to give you some hope, even if it just means getting through the day.
I hope you know that.
In the meantime, I'm still here. I'm here if you want to talk about it. I'm here if you want to talk about something else--anything else. Lord knows I watch enough television. We can talk about that.
But in the silences that come in between talking about those other things, I hope you feel how much I love you. And I'm here through this whole journey.


P.S. As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joey
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord's renown,
for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.
Isaiah 55:8-13


Keri said...

Marie, from my experience you always know what to say even if you don't think you do....and this post just proves that. You're without a doubt one of the most compassionate people I know!

Steve, Amanda, Kyle , Owen, and Madilyn said...

Sometimes it is hard to talk to someone you know is hurting. Like you, I feel like I never say the right thing at the right time. I admire you for saying something, no matter how tough. I will say a prayer for your friend, that they are touched by your true friendship and love.

Michele said...

thank you, ree, for your love - care - concern - ...and by the way, isaiah is my favorite book of the bible.

Krista said...

well said, girl...LOVE it! those really are the perfect words.