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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Crisis



I ran across this article, some time ago, and I have been trying to adopt its principles:

  
It's pretty simple, really.  If your crisis is the biggest one, you get to say whatever you want to whomever you want.  If you're crisis is smaller, you need to know when it is appropriate to speak.  It's not that your crisis doesn't matter.  It's just that someone who is dealing with a larger crisis can't take on your pain.  And that's OK. 

Sometimes I forget that I am not in the center of the crisis circle.  Oh friends, let's be real.  I pray that I am never in the center of the crisis circle!  It is so incredibly easy to lose perspective.

A friend of mine posted this quote, today, and it resonated far deeper than I wanted it to:

"We thought it was a rough patch, but it turned out to be our life." - Bruce Eric Kaplan

I wasn't even sure how to react to this.  The words so closely echoed my own, from last year, when I kept saying, "We're just going through a rough time, right now." But then it didn't let up.  I have very intentionally not uttered this phrase lately, even though it continues to resound.

Here's the truth.  This afternoon, I do not have what I need, and I know this is a horrible thing to say.

However, I have so many friends who are suffering in ways far greater than my own, today.  They are suffering in ways in which I cannot empathize, and the truth is I'm glad, because I don't really want to feel that kind of pain.  I do want to come alongside them and support them and lift them up, but it's like comparing loss of life to paper cuts. 

It's not that my paper cuts don't matter.  It's just that they're not that severe.  I'm surviving.  That has to count for something.

I keep thinking that it would be exceptionally helpful to have someone from a bigger circle to sit down with, someone on which to dump all of my pain, all of my grief, all of my crisis; but I don't actually think that's what I need.  Maybe, instead, I need to lean into who I am and keep absorbing the pain of others that comes from smaller circles where the crisis is so devastating.  Because, that's what I do best...

I Thessalonians 5:11, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" (NIV).

Matthew 6:9-13, "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'" (NIV).

Psalm 61:1, "Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer" (NIV).

L.

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