Monday, 11 March 2013

Afraid of the Dark?

"My husband is having an affair." I could see the tears in her eyes and her face was etched in the pain of this horrible, heart-wrenching discovery.  My heart broke just looking at her, standing in her doorway, and me, a wordsmith at heart, incapable of offering any kind of words that would act as a salve for her pain.  I wanted to hug her, to cry with her, but I held back, unsure of what to do or say, or how to really process what she was saying to me - of all things, I didn't want to react in the wrong way. The compassion I felt was so overwhelming, I cried, standing there, myself. I have this naive idea that everyone's life somehow plays out like mine.  That everyone is as blessed as I am to be surrounded by a loving husband and home, and that the people out there aren't really hurting.  It's an easy mask to hide behind.

Of course, my thoughts turn inward toward myself, and in the same instant, the imagination that I hold as a blessing, acts as a curse.  All I see is how her pain might affect me, and my life.  It's this gut instinct, an automatic response that seems to kick in, as I rush to put up defenses around my own territories, lest a pain like hers, that I can only catch in distanced waves, crosses into my life.  I even find myself asking, will this disrupt me, in my happy little world, where everything is running smoothly, and is under my control?  

What is it about me, that makes what other people experience about me? I don't want my imagination to run my reactions to people.  Instead, I want to help people heal from these hurts, the pain that envelopes their life - but can I do that, if I am so afraid that the hurts of others will eventually touch me? Does God work in tragedy? Of course, I think that he does - but that's always an abstract thought.  It's one I have difficulty reconciling with events in my own life.  I don't think that God sends tragedy our way, particularly in the form of a 'test', but I am at a loss to explain why these sad events happen to good, honest people.  

I hate not knowing how to fix the problems that people have.  I hate not being able to offer them the stroke-of-genius advice filled with heartfelt compassion and care, that will perk them up for the day.  I guess that the only thing I can offer is my hand, in friendship.  A promise to care when someone feels brave enough to tell me what they're going through.  To love the way that Christ would love, in the small way that I can.  

No comments:

Post a comment

all the sins we see

He raped me. My friend, sweet and gentle, said it straight out like she was talking about the movie we'd seen not too long ago toget...