We don’t mean to speak words that echo like a whistle in an empty auditorium.
But we do.
We open our mouths and pour out platitudes because that’s what’s been poured into us.
But we need to stop. We need to listen.
And then we need to respond to the heart that stands before us and not to our need to shut down and shut up and shut out another person’s pain.
It’s hard to choose compassion. It’s hard to lean in and listen well. It’s hard to let our hearts get all tangled up with someone else’s when we could just walk away.
I am well aware that you have a life of your own full of drama, daily duties and demands. I don’t want to drain you dry.
But I might need just a moment of your time and a bit of your courage to make it through my own darkness and despair.
One REAL word.
“I’m sorry. That is awful.”
“I hate that you have this heavy burden.”
“How can I pray for you?”
“I don’t know what to say, but I want you to know I’m here and not going anywhere.”