Today, I heard from a friend about a deeply sorrowful event taking place in his life. Like most men, he related his story with firmness and only a hint of tension that translated into a jerking speech pattern.
I listened, speechless. Could this be the same person I thought I knew? It was his story. I had no reason to doubt the honestly of the events; but how could I have missed the pain in the past decade while we’ve worked and ministered closely together?
I’ve experienced that for men openness often pours through their sweaty palms. It’s when their hands get busy that they can finally share the details of their lives.
Yet, whether it’s over a cup of tea or wrestling with electrical wiring jutting from a structure, holy times of intimate sharing cannot be taken cavalierly. And when those moments of deepest sharing arrive, the best response may be the silence that envelops both the sharers as we become absorbed into the pain.
All during the day, my heart and prayers have been extended toward my friend. I’m praying that this day will also change me. I’m asking the Lord that I’ll not forget that each person I meet has a story to tell and a heartbreak hidden in the deep recesses of their spirit, waiting to be released by a praying and listening heart.