I have been getting a lot of emails lately, from literally all over the world from people who are hurting, people who are in a dark place, people in a season of pain. I read the emails and I hurt for them, I want to say the exact right thing to help make things bearable. The problem is what on earth can words do to make that kind of pain hurt less? Who am I to to have the right things to say?
Then, the pain came closer to home. In grade 5 I met M. She was my best friend for more years that I can count, we were tight, sisters of the heart. We shared everything with each other, laughed, cried, hurt, enjoyed our first crushes together, talked all night long, got into trouble together and talked our way out of trouble together. We vowed nothing could tear us apart, we swore that we would be forever friends, but as things happen I moved and the distance soon took it’s tole on our friendship. We saw each other less often, called infrequently and we each moved a few times. Eventually we lost phone numbers and were so embroiled in our lives that we didn’t have time to look back.
M found me on facebook roughly 4 years ago. We have been in touch but still with both of us fairly newly married with young kids it’s hard to find time for ourselves, let alone trying to find time to rebuild old friendships. That changed though in the last few weeks. I don’t know how or why but we both just seem to be in a place where we need contact with an old and very dear friend.
The pain I referred to earlier is hers, she is in a time of darkness herself and I find myself unable to find words that will help her. I hurt for her, I long to make things better for her, I pray for her, but still find myself feeling like I am letting her down somehow. I want to give her answers, I want to help her understand but I can’t.
So I sit here, with a full inbox and all I can do is say… ‘I don’t know why’, I am all out of words for these people, I am all out of words for my sister of the heart.
I have discovered though, only recently that words don’t always matter, silence is sometimes more than enough. Sitting together, in silence and allowing the other person just to be in the presence of your love and know that they can just be. Emails make that harder, silence can easily be misconstrued as dismissive, but sometimes, it’s okay to say you don’t have anything to say. Sometimes, hearing ‘I don’t know’ is enough to make you feel like you have been understood, that it’s not only you who is sitting there blind, wondering why… sometimes, if you reach out in the darkness you find that there is someone sitting right beside you who wants to hold your hand.
My hope, my prayer for M and those others of you who I know are in a dark place of your own, is that you find that person in the dark beside you, and that you cling to the hand they offer you.