One of the main reasons that many of us refuse to get involved with hurting people is that we believe we need to fix them.
And we know we can’t.
A friend whose child has cancer…
A friend whose spouse walks out…
A stranger in need…
We know we do not have an easy answer. And for some reason this terrifies us. And it makes us feel like we have nothing to offer. And so we find reasons to bail. We even find ourselves resenting their need.
How might our response to hurting people be different if we simply declared to ourselves, “I do not need to fix this for him/her. I can simply offer them the gift of my presence and my prayers.”
Oh sure, we can offer practical things, too … a meal, a ride, an encouraging note.
But we can rid ourselves of the (somewhat self-centered) desire to “fix” them and make everything all right.
I love how Rosemary Dougherty puts it:
“At times the strength of the spiritual community lies in the love of people who refrain from getting caught in the trap of trying to fix everything for us, who pray for us and allow us the pain of our wilderness, our wants, so that we may be more deeply grounded in God.”
“Mourn with those who mourn …” said the Apostle Paul. Notice that he did not say, “Make their mourning go away.”