"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Sunday, June 08, 2008

"The Doctor is In"

"All people want is someone to listen." ~ Hugh Elliott

"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love." ~ Jane Austen

That's what the object of my confusion used to say when he sees our friends approach me with their problems.

I don't know why, but for some mysterious reason, people think they can confide in me. It baffles me really. Granted, I can keep a secret. I'm not one to squirm and want to tell people I know if you tell me something in confidence. I have also chosen sometimes not to tell a friend something that I know but I feel they may not take so well if I tell them. My filter has always been "Will it help to tell your friend?" "Is it your place to tell him/her?" "Why do you feel you should tell your friend?"

Sometimes though, when my friend is hurting, I want so badly to help.

This past week was a case in point. A friend who's having an affair cried in my arms. How does one go from falling in love and having kids to falling out of love and feeling in your heart that you would actually choose to leave your family for another man? I don't know. She didn't know. I had no words. I just held her. She just wept.

Then I met up with another friend who wants a divorce. After 17 years together, the love was gone. I know them both and sometimes when I listen to my friend, a part of me is looking for something - a bone to throw at my friend, some reason to fight for the marriage - but sometimes, there is an undeniable clarity. Sometimes, love gets to a point of no return. You just know it in your gut.

So I include my friends in my prayers. Can I invite you to pray with me for them? Nameless as they are in this entry, they are real and today, they are hurting.

And if you're hurting too and if you want me to pray for you, let me know. You don't need to tell me why.

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