May 24, 2011

Into Her Pain, Quietly

Muggy. Evening. Not even a slight breeze of mercy murmured. The stillness urged me: be still. Listen.

Knees kissing her chin, her eyes pleaded, “I need someone to crawl in my pit with me. Someone to help me out.”

A lump in my throat responding to her grief. Press the escape hatch quick, before awkward mercy takes over. Obvious words lunged at me:

Time heals all wounds.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
God’s timing is perfect.
To everything there is a season.

But I wouldn’t disrespect her loss with a walk-by. Wouldn’t slap thoughtless words into her pit as I stepped over her pain. I try not to deal in slick grace if at all possible. You see, slick things don’t stick.

A Samaritan traveling the road came on him.
When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him.

A word aptly withheld is often better than a word tossed care-lessly.

Comfort doesn’t come in cliches. It comes in knowing we’re not alone; we’re cared about. It comes when the Word is coupled with deeds. “Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions” {1 John 3:18}. Into the pit we’re called. Into silence we wade.

He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds.
Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable.

The Good Samaritan did more than throw a nickel, blanket, or splash of water. He leaned down, listened to the need, loved the broken with what resources he had. He was the first in a line of others who helped the man in the pit get well. He stopped, stooped and stood next to the wounded.

That humid night with my friend, her journey of healing begun. Lowering myself into her pain, I crossed one leg over the other. In it for the long haul; in it for the long haul.

A meager offering from a willing heart: it is capable of great things. And highly esteemed by the Most High. I let my arm linger, touching hers– a reminder life begets life. Checked her hope levels, refilling them when low or dried up. Others made their way in. Tears were dabbed, monsters fought, mercy tucked under my friend, lifted her up and out. Onward to healing.

In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying,
‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’

Years later, my heart cracked open, pieces clattered out fast, like marbles from a jar. Flailing about, I slipped on them and fell headlong into my pit.

Gingerly, my friend picked her way down, leaving “chin up” and “better to have loved” at the surface. Toward my pain she leaned; she sat next to me quietly for months. One temperate morning, the breeze stirred slightly. The only thing between us, two mugs of coffee.

“You’ll trust Him again, you know. You’ll believe once more that He’s always been good; never left you. You will. Someone once told me that in my pit and she was right. Time did help heal. I believe again; I trust.” Mercy nodded at her and together, they wrapped their arms on either side of me. We began our ascent out of my pain. Time to leave; time to heal.

Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor
to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”

And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
Luke 10

Going Deeper

This summer, Melissa Taylor is leading an online study of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner by Wendy Blight. If you’re looking for a friend to help you out of the pit, this is your chance! Click here for more info and to join.

Also, we’d love you to join us in our series of leaving the hurt behind. Jump on board by clicking here!

Are there pits in which I’ve reclused, not allowing in truth, help or healing? What do I fear will happen if I “go there”?

Stephanie Clayton’s honest post is a hand extended to help you up out of your pain. Won’t you reach up, taking a step out of the pain? Click here to grasp her hand of grace…

Who in my life has God called me to get in the pit with, as a vessel of healing and hope?

I {Sam} learned much about sitting in grace through Heatherly Sylvia’s wise words. Click here to sit a spell with her post, Sitting Shiva.

Appreciate all your wonderful comments along this journey. I’m growing because of YOU! If you’re new here, we welcome you.

xoxo, Sam

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  1. Heather Bleier says:

    Once again I am amazed at God's timing and the words He has put in your heart to share with the world. I will never read the Good Samaritan the same again. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    WOW, perfect timing. I know that He is always near, never leaving or forsaking, just praying for a true friend in this journey.


  3. Wendy Blight says:

    This is so beautiful. I too will never read the Good Samaritan story the same again. How I see my failure in this area over and over again. Thank you for reminding me of what my Father asks of me.

    Love you, Sam. You truly are a gifted writer!!!

  4. Kathryn says:

    Oh that I could write words such as these. The message so beautifully conveyed – so elegantly and yet so simply.

    I think I will have to read this again and again to truly grasp every little morsel He has here for me.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Danielle says:

    I think a book with some of Christ's parables, written with true testimonies–written by you, with this flow of poetry in motion would be fanominal!! What do ya say?;-)

  6. pinkdaisyjane says:

    Thank you for sharing this hard subject so beautifully.

    You are a blessing

  7. Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth says:

    You are a good friend, Sam. Exposing our pain in the pit to a friend is one of the most vulnerable things we can do. One of the most sacred things we can do as a friend is to mourn with those who mourn, and lift them out of the pit with His truth.


  8. Fields of gold says:

    Heather, He's a good Shepherd, isn't He? Guiding us to rivers of healing words, pastures of protective comfort. I love His wisdom!

    Thanks for your encouraging words. It's ALL Him! 🙂

  9. Fields of gold says:

    Dear Darlene,

    I so enjoy how the Lord deals in impeccable timing {speaking as one who struggles to be on time!}

    Friend, let's pray together that the Lord sends a friend to walk with you:

    Father God, thank you for creating us to walk this life out with others; for giving us the desire to not be alone but have another by our side. Will you please fulfill that need and want for Darlene? Grace her with a true friend… several dear friends… with whom she can share this journey. Please grant this prayer quickly. Thanks so much for your lovingkindness. In Your Name we pray, Amen.

    Please keep us posted on the way He meets your prayer request!

    xoxo, sam

  10. Fields of gold says:

    Sweet Wendy… it's a humbling joy to read your sweet words since you're such a gifted writer! Thank you dear friend.

    I too struggle with climbing in the ditch. Honestly, sometimes I don't even want to glance into it, much less pause in my step. But oh how sweet it is to sit and tend to the wounds of a friend.

    I've seen you make your way down into other's pits oh so often… with a beautiful praying heart of love!

    Love you friend!

  11. Fields of gold says:

    Dear Kathryn,

    Your dear comment alone shows me you could … and DO… write in lovely ways!

    He's so good to speak to us and I'm honored He'd use me and 26 letters to form a word or two others can see Him through.

    Delighted you're on this journey with us!

  12. Fields of gold says:

    Encouraging Danielle! I'm fairly certain you and Sheila Mangum are long lost sisters! Do you know her? She keeps track of all the publishing appointments at She Speaks. First off, you're both cute as buttons and have 1000 watt gorgeous smiles! And second, she matches you step-by-step in your life-giving affirmations, particularly towards my writing.

    A book is brewing in my heart. LOVE your confirmation and appreciate your kindness more than I can say, sister!


  13. Fields of gold says:

    Heatherly, your post "Sitting Shiva" was sitting next to my heart and mind the whole time my fingers clickitty-clacked my ebony keys.

    You're an inspiration!!

  14. Fields of gold says:

    Sharon, you summed my thoughts up to a beautiful "T." It is hard to share… to share our pain; to share in another's pain.

    Utterly, deeply, to the core thankful it's not me, but Christ in me, that accomplishes His healing work and gives me the courage to get into the pit with others; and allow others to get in mine.

    You're so precious to me, sister!

    Love, sam

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