Immediately following the funeral, I went to lunch with a group of dear friends. One of those with us told a heart breaking story concerning her child. She is experiencing the agony of seeing her child suffering with no way to remedy the situation for them. Mothers had always rather bear the pain inflicted upon our children and whatever you do--do not get in the path of an angry mama bear! I was heart broken for her as I listened to her story and felt her helplessness. There is no end in sight for the dilemma and her frustration is tangible.
Three of my dear friends are dealing with the complexities of aging parents who are chronically ill. Our bodies begin to fail us, in most cases, long before the bell tolls. We have advanced medical science to the point where we can keep people alive sometimes much longer than our bodies are able to adequately function. This leaves us with parents who are bed ridden for the most part and suffering from multiple problems. The pills they must ingest to keep them going are legion. And the saddest thing, many times there is really no remedy for the wearing out of our bodies. It is frustrating not knowing the answer to how best to help those who have loved us best. The role reversal of parent and child is perhaps one of life's biggest hurdles.
Where am I going with all of this? It is okay to say, "I am NOT OK!" Often we feel the necessity to put on a brave face and be strong when faced with huge losses, pains, and dilemmas. We somehow get the impression, no one wants to hear our sorrows and frustrations. A true friend--will ALWAYS have an ear to hear. Most of the time we need someone to listen as we verbalize our grief. No solutions are needed but often the case in these times, we just need someone to hear us and sympathize or empathize--but especially listen. Be the one to offer an ear--be the one to ask, "How are you?" and truly listen to the answer. Bear the burdens of one another by listening to those God places in our path. The world is filled with pain and suffering--there is always someone needing an ear.
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.