Friday, August 22, 2014

Say Something, Because Anything is Better Than Nothing

The ways in which God moves are deep and mysterious. He hovers over the water; He is a gentle whisper;  He roars; He reveals secrets;  He brings healing in His wings; He rejoices over us with songs of deliverance; He brings kings to their knees; He gathers His children in His arms; and He loves us.

He is the creator of all things.

God knows everything.  He knows when to keep silent and when to speak.

We don't always know how to do that. As humans, ones who fail and make mistakes, we don't always know when to keep silent and when to speak.

This has been a different week for me. It has been a week of shifting, and of rearranging in my heart.

I spent an early morning with a dear friend watching the sun come up. It was in a place where we had spent many hours laughing and talking about life. But this morning was different. My friend's heart was broken.

Tears fell from her eyes, and I could feel they were coming from her heart. I put my arms around her and whispered, "its okay, I'm here for you." There was no need for any other words. Words would have been empty and hollow. Words would have struggled to wrap sense around the chaos. They would have been clouded and misconstrued.  They would have been coming from a human mouth. But tears, they are honest. These tears came straight from her heart, a heart that was carrying God's.

For two hours we sat and I held my friend while she grasped for words to make sense of the hurt that was gripping her heart as an endless stream of tears poured from her eyes. I had very few words to say. Not from being uncomfortable,  not from lack of wanting to speak, and not from being in a rush. I had very few words to say because at that moment Jesus had very little to say. Jesus knew she needed to be held. And in that moment of brokenness I was Jesus with skin on for her. I was a safe place for her heart. She needed someone to say something, so I did. 

Later this week I met with another close friend, one who has always been a safe place for me. I began to speak of a deep hurt that I had, a place of deep brokenness and of a decision I need to make where I feel buffeted by either side. I shared how though numerous people knew of my hurt, only one person ever said anything to me about it. I was still terribly hurt that no one else had said anything to me about it. There was a moment of silence, the environment around us changed and the conversation got shifted to other things. I spent the remainder of our time together trying not to cry.  As I was heading home I stopped to text her and apologized for my attitude change in the middle of our time together but that I wished she had said something to me, anything, about my hurt. Her response was that she was sorry too but there never seemed to be enough time to talk about the deep things of God.

Time to take a deep breath. Time to breathe in, hold it, wait, and then breathe out slowly.  It is time for a "selah" moment. A moment of deep reflection and silence.

Are we really that busy? Are we really so busy that we cannot take a minute to talk about the deep things of God, the things that stir our heart, the things that cause endless amounts of tears, the moments of complete brokenness, the secrets He is telling us, the whispers we hear, and the great mysteries of life? Are we too busy?  Or are we too uncomfortable? 

It is not my place to judge the heart or intentions of another person, but I do believe we use time as an excuse for keeping ourselves from being uncomfortable. I've seen it from people, we all have. That avoidance of eye contact. The way people walk quickly pass you. How a text message is more important than talking about your feelings. Not knowing what to say generally leads to not saying anything and also avoiding contact.

The deep things of God are just that, they are deep. They are complicated and mysterious. It takes time to talk about them and peel through layers of emotion and knowledge. There is depth and substance to them. God made them deep for a reason and we need to make time to talk about them.

Last month I found out that one of my friends had her husband leave her for someone else. It broke my heart to hear that news. The next time I saw her, I hugged her and whispered to her how much I loved her, that I was here for her, that all of this chaos was not God's heart, and that she didn't have to talk about it if she didn't want to.

But she did.

She showed me her hand where her wedding ring had been removed. She cried as she talked about the chaos and the hurt. It was hard for me to see, and I cried too. But I had still said something.

I gave her my time, my heart, and my full attention.  I didn't say much, I mostly listened, because that was what she really needed. She needed someone to say something, to give her the choice to share or not. And at that moment she chose to share. She needed a safe place for her heart.

When was the last time you gave someone a safe place for their heart? When was the last time you went out of your way and stepped out, making yourself uncomfortable to provide comfort to someone?

We don't always have all the answers, but we don't have to. We don't always have good timing or perfect solutions, but we don't have to. All we have to be is there, because God takes care of the rest. All we need to do is look someone in the eye and say, "I am here for you. You have my full attention. I am here, do you want to talk?" The rest is up to them. As someone who has been hurt and not had anyone be there for them, it is better to say something than nothing at all.

So take a moment. Take a deep breath, and think about it. Take a "selah" moment and reflect on how you interact people around you. Are you someone who avoids being uncomfortable?  Or are you someone who says something?

Take a moment and say something, anything; because to someone who is hurting, anything is better than nothing.

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