Lately I have been thinking about women in chronically difficult situations. Women dealing with long-term illness in the family. Women managing the stress of unemployment. Women whose children have special needs. Women who follow Jesus while facing challenges we may not see.
But sometimes they tell us about those challenges. And what do we do when someone opens up? Do we tell her we'll pray (instead of praying with her)? Do we cringe? Do we quickly change the conversation or gloss over her trouble? Do we think, "Glad I'm not her!"
It's uncomfortable to experience secondhand pain. It's like seeing an open wound. But when someone recognizes how hard something is for us - even when she can't fix it - it means a lot.
I love that we worship "The God who sees" (Genesis 16:13). He is always aware of our distress. He is our ever present help. He never abandons us.
Do we love each other that way? Do we walk alongside those who stumble and help pick them up? Do we pray with those who have questions but no answers?
What do we say to someone who is struggling with infertility or mental illness? What if God's answer to our prayers isn't healing but His sufficient grace? Do we remain faithful to our friends through years of struggle?
These are the questions I'm pondering. I would love to hear what you think.
I've been blessed to be loved well by my sisters and brothers in Christ. I hope you experience that love at StoneBridge. And I hope you pass it on moment by moment to one another.
- Kathryn Truden