You listen to me over dining hall pizza and cold black coffee. You listen and I see the sympathy in your eyes. You don’t say a word. Minutes earlier you were the one talking and I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, and I thank you for these moments of joy and unconditional love.
But you stopped and listened when I said I had something to tell you. Your eyes were intent, bearing into my soul, oblivious to the people bustling around and this crappy coffee. You didn’t say much; you understand first. You listened with your heart and I know that you cared.
You listened to me over hushed tones in the fifth floor of the library; we whispered and somehow it made it easier to share. And after I finished, I heard your story about today. Your struggle is my struggle and mine, yours. I almost cried when I heard when I heard what your today was like. Mine is still significant, but it doesn’t seem as bad.
I was reluctant to tell you, but I’m so glad I did. You said you would pray for me. Right now, I can’t pray because I can’t find the words admist my frustration. So, it means so much to me that you will pray for me. It means so much when you respect my confidentiality and vulnerability. I know this beause you confide in me as I do in you.
When I tell you the parts of me that are hurting and my embarrassing moments, you acknowledge my miscomings, not afraid to give me truth. But we move on and do life together, and you give me measures of grace as I fall and rise.
I sometimes am afraid to trust people. I do not want them to hurt me. I have been hurt so many times after I have told the bitter and honest truth and the things that people never want to hear. I can be too direct. But I also do not want to pursue people because I fear that they will not like the mess they find. I do not want them to feel cornered or like I am intruding on their personal life with my brokenness. For their sake and my sake, I turn away so many times. But when I do show you my soul, it is clear that God is listening to me and to you and that it is His love that binds us together.
We need to intrude. We need to infiltrate each other’s lives with love so that no one is alone. Fears should be quenched with love, lonliness should be sutured with kindess and uncertainty should be contronted with truth and grace. There is power in being honest with one another. It doesn’t matter if where we are; I know you will stop and listen when I need.
Sometimes I am so worn from hearing about other’s pain. I feel so burdened by mine own that I cannot sit in front of you and listen to your struggles when I am on the point of tears myself. But that’s where the Father lifts our worries, commanding us to have peace and be still. That’s when grace happens to your soul and mine, and life becomes a bit easier.