I had an encounter with a woman yesterday, that touched me deeply. A lady came into my office , who had lost her husband of 50+ years. In the week since his passing, I had wondered how she would cope with the loss. How do you lose someone that you have been with for that long? (I was curious about it because I am working on my 60th year of life and am single, and I don’t think I will live long enough to ever experience that!)
During our conversation, the lady could not hold back her tears or her sorrow, so I listened as she talked about him…how she was feeling….how she felt closer to him at home. She cried and in my sorrow for her, I cried as well. There is really nothing you can say to make anyone feel better at a time like that. The best you can do is to let them talk and acknowledge their pain, by listening with your heart. After she left, I felt like I had experienced something precious and holy.
This morning while I was writing in my journal, I was replaying that encounter in my head and I felt like it was a gift to me. Everyday the world is bombarded with negativity and deception. This week the government has shut down and the politicians are acting like children. Mentally ill people are doing unimaginable things to other people. The media (and people in general) distort events to fit their own agendas. There is hunger. Abuse. All manner of horror walks through our lives on a daily basis, and in order to protect ourselves from the negative energy that abounds, we throw up walls and withdraw, because being honest and genuine and letting our own vulnerability show has become an anathema to society. Vulnerability is scorned and shunned and WEAK in today’s world.
But our souls crave such honesty in encounters. When that sweet lady bared her soul to me…I could see LOVE, and it was brilliant and blinding and gave me such HOPE. All of us long for those kinds of encounters with others. That’s why we people get dogs and cat, because they show themselves in the only way they know…honest and vulnerable. And we love them for it.
So why can’t we do that to people as well? Let’s not be ashamed of our weaknesses. Lets knock down those walls, and let people see our humanity, and when they scorn and shun us, let us remember that those things are part of their walls to protect themselves from vulnerability.
As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:10 “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Thank you for your gift this week, dear lady….
“We are not called to be perfect. We are called to be HUMAN.”–anonymous