By Kelly Carr
I see you.
I want you to know that first and foremost. You are noticed.
Sometimes people look away when they encounter those who experience things they’ve never experienced. I’ve done it before. We don’t mean to be mean. We’re just scared.
We’re scared of saying the wrong thing. Of upsetting you because we don’t have the right words. We don’t want to add to your pain in that way, so we choose avoidance but then add to your pain in another way. It comes from our own awkwardness—it’s nothing you did.
I know that doesn’t make it feel better. And I’m sorry for times when you felt alone. I’m trying my best now not to give in to my own self-consciousness.
I don’t know what you’re going through.
There—I’ve admitted what we all want to say.
We don’t speak of certain things you’re going through because we don’t fully understand. And when we can’t relate, we feel odd or we worry that we won’t be able to fix the things that you are going through. Because, with human nature, it’s easier if we had some solution to offer. I’m sure you’ve been looking for a solution for years.
Too many people out there try to act like they know it all. I see them barrel past your words, trying to relay their own experiences instead of really listening. That doesn’t help.
So instead I will admit right up front that I haven’t been in your shoes. I wish I could fully comprehend, but in all honesty, I can’t. Yet I do want to learn.
I’ve learned from you.
I’m sure that’s little consolation. You’d rather feel whole again than be educating other people on what it’s like to deal with your pain. But it remains true. I see other people differently because of you.
When I finally got over myself enough to ask you questions, I appreciated when you shared. I got a better grasp of what you are going through, and that has made me more sensitive to others.
I’m sure it must have been hard to open up to tell one more person about what’s going on inside. Yet I’m glad you did. I feel closer to you now. And I want to get a fuller picture of how you see the world and how it affects you.
I’m here for you.
I’m here. I’ll stay here. I’m ready to listen some more when you are ready to talk. Or I’m ready to hang out and not talk about anything deep at all. I’m here to keep being your friend.
Thank you for continuing to stick with Jesus even when the path seems scary. I’m proud of you.