she’d asked me for about a week to come help her.
it wasn’t a big deal, but would take a few hours and was certainly a two person job.
i didn’t mind doing it – but you see i was busy. i’m ALWAYS busy.
forever running late with a ‘to do’ list that is never ending. i usually feel like i’m on the edge of drowning and one more thing – just one more tiny request – might topple my very existence.
so it was several days, maybe a week later when i arrived (ever so pleased with myself) to be the hero and show up to help.
after a few moments of working together i noticed a place on her body where she had injured herself. clearly she had been attempting the project alone.
“goodness! what were you thinking??” i began teasing. “you could really hurt yourself!”
i’m eternally grateful my back was to her when i heard that husky, quiet voice that signals intense emotional pain softly whisper…
“i just don’t have anyone to help me…”
i can only say, with the utmost sincerity, it had to be Divine assistance that helped me not emotionally fall apart on the spot. (if i had begun bawling it would have turned her pain into my drama… that’s not fair or helpful).
i spoke kindly, my own eyes filled with tears. i repented for not realizing the intensity of her need, and begged her to communicate to me so that next time i would hear her better. to give me another opportunity. to trust me, even tho i’d failed.
i don’t know if she will. i don’t know if she can. but here is what i can do:
i can pay closer attention. i can work hard to clear away clutter from my life/brain/activities/lifestyle so that i can hear the soft whisper of those in need.
i did good holding it together until i got in my car to drive home and then the dump-truck of emotion i’d been holding on to landed.
it was nearly a physical sensation – pulling me backward in time – to those moments in my life where i’ve felt so alone. so very, very alone.
flashback after flashback of some of my most painful memories begin filling my senses… times others were around, times it was really just me, and times there were few around – but inside the “aloneness” was a weight that was way stronger than any thing else. And much, much to difficult to express. impossible really. so i’d held on to it. pushing thru to do what needed doing and go on… fake smile intact.
it would be trivial to say i cried. it was more like oceans of tears filled with bursts of self-loathing. “how could i, of all people, not see she had been hurting?”
and i wondered if i’d ever be able to keep my priorities correct – the things that matter oh so very much to me MUST stay front and center while i juggle all the busyness that life requires.
i can still barely speak of it… it’s so fresh and… personal.
but it’s also so very very vital that i feel i must share… to, perhaps, give voice to those who can’t yet.
because i know how many “her’s” are out there. people with little to no support. who feel, time and again that no one is on their side. that no one really cares. that at the end of the day they will be forgotten – casualties of other people being busy with their own lives and dreams and successes…
of course there are boundaries. of course we have to each develop or own path and learn who our “real” families are – including a benevolent, ever loving God who always stands by us, and in us… closer than our own breath.
that doesn’t take away our responsibility to pay attention to what is happening in our own world – right around us. in our neighborhoods, families, churches. to be more concerned with the pain of ‘the least’ than we are with making sure our busy schedules stay full so we can feel important by having “oh so much to do.”
i didn’t mean to harm. no way would i do that. but i wasn’t listening either. and my ‘inaction’ was as hurtful as any intentional activity could be. maybe more. because it sometimes feels better to be hated than to feel ignored and insignificant.
i know this truth. i’ve lived this truth. i’ve felt this truth far to many times – and i still missed it. right under my nose – i missed it.
so i’ve done all i can to make it right. i’ve put safeguards in that will hopefully keep my actions inline with my beliefs. i’m determined to stay true to my values. #lovedoes
and i’m confessing here and now, with two simple goals:
- hopefully you will be able to identify those in your circle who need you. the ones not loud enough, strong enough, confident enough to speak up and ask for (or demand!) your attention.
- and that those who know the feeling of constantly fighting a losing battle alone will find comfort and encouragement. you are not alone. you ARE worthy. you are so carefully and beautifully created! you are loved beyond anything you can possibly imagine! the kind of love that does not require you to meet any standards – there is no “earning” this love. it just is ~ because you are.
Ever learning, ever growing…