I can't sleep. I hate that. I know, I know, I should turn off my screen because it's tricking my brain into thinking it's still awake time. But sheesh, people. There's only so much lying in bed wishing one was sleeping that a person can do.
I have a friend on my mind. Her family has been struck with blow after blow lately, one thing after another. It's almost--almost--funny. But so not funny. Funny in the way that if you don't laugh you'll cry, and possibly never stop.
There are so many hurting people in the world. All of us? Yes, I think I can say with confidence that every single one of us hurts. None of us navigates this earthly life unscathed. Every one of us has struggles, and some of them seem bigger than others, but I don't know if I can even say that. Our own struggles, whatever they may be, are important and huge and all-encompassing to us, regardless of the perceived level of difficulty on a relative scale. Knowing that my problems are trivial compared to someone else's does not make mine any easier to bear. It really doesn't. It just makes me feel guilty for allowing it to drag me down, for wallowing in my own mess.
How messed up is that? Seriously. Guilt. Ugh.
My girls and I were talking the other day about how men and women typically listen differently. Wait, you might be wondering about my girls, because, you know, I don't have any girls. No (biological) sisters, no daughters. My girls are my sisters by choice, a group of women bonded together by a love for God and a desire to get to know Jesus better. Love them.
I know there are exceptions, but typically when women listen, they offer sympathy. A listening ear, and a comforting embrace. Typically when men listen, they offer solutions. Which is great, terrific, wonderful, but not necessarily what women are looking for in the interaction. We don't want you to solve our problems, we want to be heard. We want to be known. We desire a connection with you that goes beyond you swooping to the rescue, although most of us do love being rescued as well.
I must be a little atypical because as I sat listening to my girls, who are dealing with ordinary and extraordinary problems, I just wanted to make it all go away. I wanted to fix it. All of it. My brain was searching for answers, practical solutions.
You know, what they really need is hope. What we all need is hope. In the darkest places, when we are hopeless, when we just can't see a way out, what we need most is someone to come alongside and hope for us.
I so desperately want that in my life. Someone to hope for me. And I want to be that person for those who is hurting--a beacon of hope, a believer in redemption. Join me?