I didn't know how to explain what I felt. In only 3 weeks I was heading to have a hysterectomy. This day it shouldn't have mattered so much more except that circumstances suddenly made the reality hit me hard: I would not be a "normal" women after this surgery. My body would forever bear the scars of the results of this fallen world we live in. My body would never function reproductively again. I would never be able to feel a baby kicking inside me, never get the joy of telling my Husband we were pregnant, never see a baby that was my own genetically. On this particular day (November 24, 2004), the reality of what was about to be taken from me hit me hard. As I tried to hold the tears in I ran and threw myself onto my bed. My little sister followed me. She asked what was wrong and I only had to say 3 words but she totally understood. As the hot tears fell down my cheeks, my little sister wrapped her arms around me and held me close. And I just cried. I didn't have to go into detail, I didn't have to explain. She knew. And rather than lecture me on how God would bring me babies someday, and how much better I would feel after surgery ... she just was quiet and was with me in my grief.
Why am I telling this story now? Well, I think people who are not going through a specific pain or grief sometimes feel like they can't help those who are. I think people feel like they have to have something eloquent to say, or make sense of the suffering. But, in my experience, the most comforted I have ever felt has been through people like my sister who are just quiet and grieve with me in my pain. No judgement. No reasoning. Just pure uncluttered compassion.
Who in your life is grieving or hurting today? Let us all remember to love and offer a shoulder to cry on - sometimes it is the best gift we can give.