Have you ever been that friend others come to for advice? You know, that one on the receiving end of those late night calls? The girl asked to come over to share iced tea and chat?
I have been that friend. I too have been the girl calling friends as tears streamed when I thought there was no end in sight as my breath was stopped.
My friend, Bobbie, would call me. I was always happy to hear her beautiful voice. We have shared so many laughs through the years. Two years ago our calls changed from simple laughter. See, Bobbie's son, Donnie, was hit and killed by a drunk driver. She no longer was calling with laughter spewing through the phone. That laughter became hot tears, filled with agony. Her voice now carried a shakiness filled with words so broken I could no longer understand.
I would hear my phone ring and I knew something was wrong. I knew those happy calls weren't in existence any longer. If so, they were far and few in
between the falling tears of my friend that was now searching for healing. So, before answering I'd pray. Sometimes a quick prayer, but one asking the Lord to be present, to speak in me, through me, and to be our source of strength.
See, I knew the difference in those calls when I hadn't prayed and in those where I prayed before picking up. There too was a difference in my returning texts after I had taken time to pray. Yes, I could clearly see when God's presence was invited in to share in our time and when He was given room to move.
Sometimes our roll as friend isn't to give advice. There are circumstances like with my friend that we can in no way understand. Oh, we can imagine, but we cannot relate to the agony they are now living. So, we shouldn't try to pretend with words that are just fillers.
Sometimes our role is to listen and be present. We are to pray and to take an active roll in the life of our friends. We simply need to love and be the friend we would want in our most desperate time. We don't have to be the perfect friend. That girl doesn't exist. It is such a blessing to know that I don't have to know all the answers. I can trust our God who does know. I can pray with my friend, read scripture, and point my friend to Jesus. When we just love the Lord's love flows through us like a warm light that makes way for heart to feel some sort of comfort and peace in the midst of the tornado that has blown destruction our way.
It isn't easy. Oh, the fun loving times make a friendship easy peasy, but tragedy makes for a friendship to show itself true. There were times no words were spoken. Just shared tears. When we ask our Lord to be present everything changes. There is comfort in just knowing a friend is present with us.
It doesn't matter our circumstance. Maybe a friend is asking for advice. Point them to Jesus. Maybe we are at the grocery store, see a friend in passing and say, "Hey, how ya doing?", but really never expect them to reply, "Oh, my life is horrible. Listen to all that is happening". Those words spill so easily from our lips. We speak them and when someone replies and interrupts our time. Well, let's face it, we are a bit perplexed. I mean do we attempt to share right there in the aisle or do we share that we will call them later? Let's be real. We have all been there wishing we had never asked the question. This is where we need to ask God to grow us a heart of mercy.
People around us are hurting. That hurt is caused by many different circumstances. People are waiting for someone to take notice and to care enough to ask. We walk around with our heart broken and just want to share, but should we really be transparent? Yes, we should. We need to be real with those around us. This is how we share the Jesus in our lives. Let us ask that question in love and with patience. The next time those words of, "How ya doing?", flow from our lips, let us be prepared and ready.
Before we walk out the door let us pray. Let us pray for God to make a way. To use us in a mighty way to bring Him glory, making us aware of His presence, moving in us and through us, giving witness to His glory and honor. I have witnessed God do a mighty work at Walmart. It happens if we just invite Him to join us.
We are to be in the people business and allow God to be in the healing business. It isn't for us to heal others, but to point them to our Jesus, the One who is our Healer.
We don't always know what to say. We don't always have the right answers. What we can do is love. Just simply love as we want to be loved. To give our time and our heart. Not just listening, but hearing. There is a difference in a hurried listener and a patient hearer.
As with my friend I learned to ask, "How are you doing right now?" I knew she wasn't doing well. Her heart was shattered, but I too knew she lived moment by moment with emotion changing with each breath. She appreciated me asking in this way. For Bobbie, it allowed her room to speak freely because she knew that in me asking in this way I really wanted to know.
When we ask, "How are you?", let us just not throw those words in the air, but ask because we value the one speaking. Make sure we make room for God to move. Make room for the Holy Spirit to speak. Make room for our Savior to intervene. When we do these things we are sure to see His blessings of our Healer treasure our lives.
"My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips."
"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You."
"Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."