Sitting recently with a friend and hearing things that would shock most people, I struggle with what to say and do. It’s easy for me to give advice – which I don’t do very often now anyway – but I’d rather listen. The problem is that advice doesn’t fix deep, serious, systemic problems in a person and most of my advice has gone out the window anyway. Instead and over some coffee and eggs, I listen and wonder and pray and listen some more. How can things get this hard for my friend? Why have people abandoned my friend? Why isn’t there a community of people my friend can identify with to find some comfort and understanding? How come it hurts so bad that even the tears have dried up?
As I sit and write this, I wonder what is going to happen. I’m glad we were able to talk for a long time but I am also at an end to figure out how to help. This is deep, dark, and difficult stuff that sources from multiple places – physical, spiritual, mental, relational, sexual, psychological.
My point in mentioning this is that I have been getting into these kinds of conversations lately with different and separate people in unexpected ways. In feeling helpless, I am also taken that I am somehow being given opportunities in confidences with things that I would have thought unimaginable a few years ago. It is daunting but also something that I now am more than willing to deal with.
I feel like a little dog paddling in an ocean.