Pain dwells around me,
Day. . .
In the eyes of a friend who lost her baby before she knew their name.
In the heart of a teenager who had a father stripped away against their will.
In the mind of a family member who hopes for prayers to be answered.
In the body of a stranger lying on the side of the road, waiting for life to end.
What do I do?
“Run! Run fast and run far. Don’t stop until you can’t see the hurt, can’t feel the agony. Go past the familiar until you get to something foreign. Then, just keep running.”
“Numb! Numb yourself until nothing can hurt you. Build up a wall. Tear down a friendship. Construct relationships that only ask so much, only pursue so deep. Create a life no one can touch.”
“Fight! Fight with anger as your ally and justice as your shield. Defend everyone and never surrender to defeat. Heartache will not win this battle if you keep on fighting.”
Why can’t we just hurt together? Why can’t we just sit in the suffering, in the anguish, in the unjust, unfair, unrelenting world in which we live?
I don’t want to pretend life is okay, that marriages aren’t falling apart, that politics is good enough, that there aren’t massive and minuscule questions tearing people apart. I don’t want to live with the weight of the world on my shoulders, and I don’t want people to live in lies the Devil has convinced them to be true.
I will sit with people in the suffering of the day, the season, the year. If it be for a lifetime, then I will walk with them. Now, I won’t, for even a second, romanticize this posture of enduring with others. It is excruciating; however, it also has little to do with me.
Rather, it has everything to do with Jesus. He sat. He asked questions. He listened and shared in life with the people He knew and didn’t yet know. He dwelled in the discomfort of the world that He loved.
I want that, day in and day out. I want to walk on the water that He has placed before me in the form of pain-filled people and broken circumstances. I can’t fix the hurt, the fragmented places. Yet, I can offer healing in the form of Jesus’ love, His truth, His presence, His mercy, and grace. Therefore, I will speak His name into the darkness of the day with faith that abiding hope will alight a new way.