Listen, and stand in the gap.
Life can sometimes hit us hard with situations, it can knock the breath right out of us. It can deliver bad news when you least expect it and can leave you with no words to express your hurt. I have been thinking about this for a while now and the way that we respond to others that are hurting. It’s funny even my dogs know when I don’t feel good, and suddenly the house will get still with silence and I will find myself surrounded by some of the best and most expert comforters. They say nothing. They are just with me.
I have categorized myself as a fixer, when I see someone that is hurting I want to fix it. I want to listen and offer my encouragement, and I have always thought that as a pretty nice quality about myself. Last week, I had a unique perspective though and I learned something through my husband. Sometimes the best thing you can do is say nothing at all. Sometimes the one thing that a hurting person needs is stillness, but also know that there is someone there ready to fight the battle when it’s time. We had to go to the Mayo clinic again, just to get some tests that the doctor ordered for my ongoing stomach complications. It was quite disappointing when I found out that David would have to take an entire day off just to drive me to get my blood drawn and have an MRI and then we would leave Jacksonville without even seeing a doctor. David didn’t hesitate though. We dropped our son off at school and we were on the road. We got there early, they got my blood in less time than it took to park. My MRI wasn’t scheduled until 12:30, it was a fasting test, so we had time to waste. We decided that we would drive over to the beach. David knows that is my place of serenity, he hates the sand, but he put me first that day and let me go out to the water and just be. He never said a word.
When I was first diagnosed with Lupus and I was in the middle of a monumental overload meltdown when my spiritual father said to me, “I am standing in the gap for you.” Let me explain what that means, I was devastated and heart broken and vulnerable. The enemy, Satan, knows my every weakness. When I found out I had Lupus it hit me like a ton of bricks, and it crushed me. I was sad and disappointed. Satan could have beaten me with this devastating thing happening to me but my spiritual father stood in the gap for me. That meant in my moments of weakness he was lifting me in prayer. To this day, 3 years later, I know that when I am facing my giants he is standing in the gap for me. That’s all I needed, I didn’t need the I’m sorry’s, or the pity, I was already sorry and didn’t have the words to explain anything I was feeling. I just needed someone to stand in the gap and listen.
Sometimes, I think we think we must jump in and say the right thing way too fast when we come across someone that is facing something difficult but sometimes there are just no words to be said. Sometimes the best thing to do for someone is to just listen and say nothing at all. Stand in the gap. People can mean well and say a whole lot of somethings or a whole lot of nothings…. when sometimes there are just no words.