In Sharing Struggles
We’re told we can handle it. We’re told to “suck it up and deal.” We’re pushed to hide away our struggles and never show the pain because it’s weakness. Men, especially, are told that they should be tough. Show no signs of struggling. Be a “real” man.
We live in a culture that has a hard time expressing struggle. We want people to know we’re suffering and hurting, but we’re considered “too needy” if we ask for what we really need. We’re pushed to find isolation in the middle of our struggles and not community.
I love that Jesus really struggled with the crucifixion, though. He didn’t walk into it confident and capable like it was nothing, he prayed and struggled and lost sleep over it. He went through a real struggle. That night when he was going through it all he asked for one thing from his disciples. He asked for company. “Pray with me” is what he asked of them as he faced his greatest trial.
I think when it comes to struggles, we often feel like if it’s not something I can fix I shouldn’t get involved. If I don’t have the right words or the right thing to do, I shouldn’t even try. We view the struggles of others as if fixing it is the only thing they need.
It’s why people look at those hurting and say heartless, although well intended, things like “it’ll be okay” or “everything happens for a reason” or some other theological ramble. We want to fix. We want to make it better. We want to solve it and move on.
Sometimes, to really make an impact on a person all you have to do is be there. You don’t have to answer or fix anything. Just be there. Suffer with them. Mourn with them. Pray with them. Those are the people you go to when you’re hurting. You want the person who will sit silently in a room with you for hours so you’re not alone. Not the guy who throws a few Bibles verses at you and leaves so you’re by yourself.