Tonight I met with an individual in my office.
Their story is personal and painful and is very unique. And bless them they were willing to trust me with it. I listened and prayed and reflected on the struggles they faced.
And I was glad I was able to be present to them, and that it seemed that what small insights I had to share with them were helpful and occasionally insightful.
However, I came away with an increased sense that so many people around here these days are hurting so deeply. Deeply, as in where do I go for help, for some answers. That kind of deep pain.
The levels of personal struggle, loss and pain felt by so many people, are real and often hopeless. And all I am able to do is spend some time and in a way be with them, and listen to them. As this individual stated, "Sometimes its a helpful thing to be able to speak the words out loud." And they are right. Being heard is a help in and of itself.
And while our chat was going on, my phone in my breast pocked was giving me a short vibration each time a couple of friends were communicating with one another. It was too late to pull the phone out and shut if off, but each vibration was a communication of care. I knew that they were communicating and that they were watching out for each other, because that is who they are. It was oddly comforting, their vibrating presence there.
And I think that is a good part of life's biggest struggles. That we don't always have somebody to talk with or to listen to us when its needed. When comfort is required or a gentle push is the answer for us.
Yet there can be life there in those good supportive relationships.
As I tell the kids, being married doesn't mean you always have a built in listener, nor does being alone mean you have no listeners either. Learning to listen is always a good thing. Always. And learning to be heard, to communicate is also one of life's great helps.
So maybe this aloneness we experience as humans can be helped by learning to listening, and by practicing the vulnerability needed to share your heart with another.
You may find answers in the places you least expect them.