English: me and my friend (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Most, if not all, of us have been in those situations where we find we have nothing to say. Recently it happened to me, again. There is a friend who is hurting. The pain is real, and the pain is not going away. She is hurting. I want to help her. I want to ease her pain, but there is nothing I can do. This is a situation that she must go through rather than around. Oh, if I could just find the words to take away her hurt. I want to ease the sadness. There are no words.
We all have to accept a certain amount of helplessness in our lives, including me. I cannot take away the pain, hurt, and suffering. But I can be present. I can sit beside my friend without words. I can pray for my her wherever I am. I can ask God to be with her in her suffering. I can learn to trust more full in God’s presence, love, and healing especially when I don’t have the words.
When we are hurting or when others are hurting, we have a choice to make. We can rage against the ineffectiveness of ourselves and others to ease the hurt, or we can trust God to deal with the hurt. We can trust God with our friends hurts that we know about as well as the hurts are not publicly know. We can trust God to walk through us through the hard, sad, difficult, and painful times of our own lives as well. We can open ourselves up to God’s presence with us when we are hurting rather than trying to fix things ourselves. This dependence does not make us weak, but it allows us to grow stronger. This reliance on God allows us to accept our own limitations as well as the limitations of those around us.
What choice will you make? Will you put your trust in God or in your words? For me, I will trust God because I know that I sometimes have nothing to say.
photo © 2007 Bev Sykes | more info (via: Wylio)
I saw dear friends this past week, classmates. As we were parting, I said to one, “We really should keep in touch. I have missed you.” It was a true statement and a desire to stay connected to these classmates. Yet, even as I uttered the words, I realized that the chances are slim that we will stay connected. I wish it were different, but I know that far too often we allow the day-to-day activities to take over. We are bombarded so many things everyday, that we miss those people and things that are not demanding our attention and in our immediate vicinity.
What do we do? Just accept that people are going to pass in and out of our lives based on their proximity? NO! We are lonely as individuals and as a society. We need to nurture relationships. We need to nurture relationships that allow us to feel loved, accepted, and connected. The relationships are one of the key components of our lives. They are what allow us to express are full selves as well as carry us through the difficult times of life. They are where we are confronted with the reality of who we are as well as feel the love of others. We know that Jesus strongly encouraged us to build and foster relationships.
In order to maintain these connections, I am using my love of lists. I’m putting names on my calendar so that each week I will maintain these important relationships. I am also meeting a friend for a few days of quality time together. Yes, both of these plans take planning and effort, but are the relationships worth it? Who do you need or want to connect with or re-connect with in your life? Who is it that you think, “I wish we were stayed in touch?” Take the time to make the first move to keep the connection, because these are people who are important to you. These are people who matter to you. These are people who make your life better. Life is too short not to concentrate on adding quality to your life.
Sometimes the world can feel like a lonely place, and it is a comfort to know that there are others who have our backs. It is a comfort to know that we have friends who will stand with us and support us. When I was in college, I had such a friend. A boyfriend and I had recently broken up. His reaction to the break-up was to go to my friends and try to date them or at least hook up with them. He tried with this friend. I was not there, but somehow he leaned forward toward her and then ended up falling down. It is nice to know that there are those who stand by you in the midst of break- ups or other difficult moments in life.
Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” John 11:16.
Thomas had Jesus’ back! Jesus was returning to Judea, where the Jews had just tried to kill Jesus. Jesus was going back to raise Lazarus from the dead, but the disciples were concerned about his safety. When the disciples saw that Jesus was determined to go back to Judea, Thomas was willing to support him. He was willing to support him even if it meant dying. Who are you willing to support and how much? Are you willing to take a stand when your friend is in a personal crisis, like a break-up? Are you willing to risk your life for one you believe in and follow, like Jesus? When was the last time you stood up for a friend, a person whom you follow, someone in a difficult situation, or someone who could not stand up for themselves?
Being a part of the body of Christ means supporting one another, even if we don’t always agree. Maybe you need to take time to say thanks to the ones who have your back. Maybe you need to let others know that you have their backs, too. Whatever the case, we can be thankful that we are not alone. I’ve got your back!