Saturday, July 22, 2006

What do you say?

I think the hardest thing for people to do in the face of a tragedy in someone else's life is to know what to say. It keeps friends from comforting each other, hurting people in isolation and unwilling to mention their situation, it makes the burden more painful instead of less and keeps people stuck. I suppose most people are afraid of saying the wrong thing and making it worse, but sometimes it seems it relieves them of the responsibility to comfort and be involved in another person's life. It takes some courage to face a situation that potentially reminds all of us we could be in the same boat so easily.

I'm extremely grateful for the friends, and even caring strangers, who take the time in my life to talk to me, and let me talk, even if it is uncomfortable, sad or just angry at everything. In doing so they fulfill the scriptural edict to bear each other's burdens. For those of us who follow after Christ this is not an option. Recently I joined a ladies prayer and share Bible study, and I seem to always come into such gatherings with the preconceived notion that I'm the only one with a serious problem. As soon as prayer requests were shared I realized half the table represented were divorced or single women with struggles I know I'll never have to face having a caring and faithful husband. All have family issues of every stripe and variety-things that even ten years ago would be unusual but are not now.

The fact is, sooner or later you'll need me, or I'll need you. It's grab a paddle and row or die.


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