My Dear Sister,
This is for the woman who is alone in her home – her husband doesn’t see the fear she is exuding. He doesn’t empathize with the anxiety she carries. He doesn’t notice the ways she’s planning to protect the children, budgeting out just the right amount of groceries – planning for the unknown.
He doesn’t notice how she must put her full attention on schooling, rationing, and calming herself and her children. He is not available to hold space for her- he doesn’t care to know the weight on her shoulders.
Instead – he mocks her. He criticizes her responses to what she sees on the news, minimizing her fear. He belittles her protective reactions during this time of crisis as he walks around the house making light of these harsh realities and those who are truly sick. He teases her in front of the children and flippantly proclaims, “Your just over-reacting, this virus isn’t real.” “Don’t listen to your mom – she’s crazy.” His jesting in turn, makes it unsafe for his children to express their worry, fear and turmoil about what they see in the world. Thus, the people in his home learn to silence their true feelings and minimize their own protective response to true fear. They learn that it is not okay to express emotion.
THIS right here – is for the woman who doesn’t have a shoulder to cry on – doesn’t have a partner to carry her through – she doesn’t have the compassionate love of a man to say; “It’s okay to be afraid my darling, I will be here with you thru it all.”
Don’t tell me to trust God. Don’t tell me it will all be okay, don’t tell me God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. Don’t tell me that this is in God’s plan. Don’t tell me my “sacrifices” are honoring to God. Don’t tell me to have more faith or pray harder… not yet. Just STOP! Just don’t say ANYTHING!
Do you want to be a comforter? Then sit down. Just SIT by me. Hold me. Rock me. Just be Jesus with skin on – no words are necessary. Your actions will speak louder. Be the MAN or WOMAN who stays – just like my God who stays even when I fall apart. Even when I hide between my coffee table and couch – shaking in the corner of my two bedroom apartment. JUST BE. Be WITH me without words, because it’s my Jesus who says, “It’s okay to be afraid my darling, I will be here with you thru it all.”. I just need your physical presence to increase my capacity and hold space for my fear as I cry to God. Will you do that for me?
I wonder how many of us are TRULY capable of sitting with a woman in her breakdown? In her uncontrollable anxiety? Can you sit and hold her while she falls apart in your arms? Can you listen WITHOUT responding?
Today, I preach to myself:
Jesus understands that we are frail – that we have emotion – that we are HUMAN. We are a reflection of His image, we are fully known by Him. The truth today is that My Heavenly Papa is COMPASSIONATE and MERCIFUL. My Papa is…
“…like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers we bloom and die…. but the LOVE of the Lord remains forever.” – Psalm 103: 13 – 17
“[Jesus] will not fight or shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.” – Matthew 12:19 – 20
Who can be that for a woman suffering at home today?