What do we do with these things? How do we ever begin to even make sense of them? How do we explain them to ourselves, let alone to anyone else? Especially when those feelings are for someone else. When someone you care about is hurting, how can you help but to hurt with them? You want so badly to make everything better. To make them okay again. Unfortunately it doesn't work like that.
They aren't okay. They won't be okay. Not for a long, long time.
So how does it work?
We cry together. We hug, we cling, we comfort, we allow the venting, the frustration, even the anger, or the fear, we face it all. Together.
That? That's the most important thing of all. Together. That means not alone.
When you're grieving, you feel alone. You can be in the biggest crowd of people all wanting to tell you how sorry they are and you can feel oh. so. alone. It's one of the strangest feelings, like you're disconnected from it all. Like there's a fog around you and even though you see people are right next to you, your eyes won't focus. And your heart? Your heart struggles to peek out from the shattering. It has the harder time reaching out.
You can know all the right things. You can tell yourself over and over that God's got this. You can understand that it's better if you have people in your life to lean on. You can even crave that! Yet somehow still be unable to reach out your hand and grasp it.
(Emotions are fickle things.)
So those of us around them? Those of us in that crowd who are seeking to do whatever we can to ease that pain and heartache? We have to be the ones to reach out.
Sometimes we just get tired of that. Sometimes we get tired of being the strong one. Sometimes we even say, "But why didn't you say something? You should have told me. If you'd asked, I would have come immediately!"
Sometimes we don't realize just how next to impossible that action is.
Such a simple thing, right? To send a text message or make a phone call? Trust me when I say that those actions can actually be some of the hardest in the world!
And remember....that's the path we chose when we said 'yes' to Jesus. How many times did He get tired, how often was He required to give and give and give? How often did he crave to go out, alone, and rest? And yet every time someone asked of Him, He gave it. No matter what.
We're no different. He requires the same of us that He required of Himself.
There's a hurting family tonight. Their loved one met Jesus, very unexpectedly, in a horrible situation. And as those of us who love them try to surround them with love and comfort, my heart came back to these thoughts. They need us in this moment. They (if they're anything like I was this past May) will simply have no words. All their hearts will be able to do is cry out.
But we? We are their words right now. We are His arms right now. We are His love right now. And we have the privilege of loving them through this unspeakable Hard. They are craving the prayers and the arms and the crying. Their hearts are so shattered, their emotions so chaotic, praying clear and concise is not even possible.
So even though I can't physically go and be His arms and His words, I can still cling together with them (for them) in prayer.
Together is a very important place to be.