About a month ago, a young woman who had been my student completed suicide. She struggled with trauma from a childhood with an abusive father. I will never forget walking up to her mom after the funeral service in the church and her mom falling into my arms weeping as I held her.
We never know what someone is going through unless we take the time to listen, to really listen. Alisa Turner, one of my favorite artists, has a new song called The Letter. The song is about a letter being written by someone who is close to attempting suicide but in the end chooses not to. I loved what she wrote in her Facebook to introduce the song:
“If listening to it made you emotional or even uncomfortable, good. Because there is nothing about suffering in any capacity that is comfortable. So often when a suicide happens there’s a crowd that can’t fathom what would make a person do such a thing. Perhaps the “The Letter” let you feel even a 10th of an inch of the wreckage that person may have been battling, for we will never truly know as no one walks anyone else’s road but their own. You really don’t know what the person next to you is going through…they may have filled you in on the details, the big picture, but it’s those small breaths in between, quiet gentle gasps they hope no one hears, out of fear of judgement or worse, being misunderstood. And just because they don’t show you, doesn’t mean you did anything wrong… you may have loved them so well. But we have to accept we don’t really know what anyone else is truly, truly going through. So best to just keep showing up when they let you, and even when they dont ….and to the person sitting on the edge. If you don’t mind, I’ll take a seat right next to you. We don’t have to talk, or we can. I don’t know that I have any answers, because life truly is brutal enough for some people to drive you to such edge. But for this moment, Ill just sit right here on your edge if that’s ok I will tell you what you already know, that you are not alone and you are very, very loved. I will tell you anything to make you stay so I can then show you why it was worth staying. But I also understand if you don’t. I get it. I really do. In my own way, I know, I know, I know, I know.”
I love the part- “and to the person sitting on the edge, if you don’t mind, I’ll take a seat right next to you.”
My friends if you ever need, I will sit on the edge with you. I will listen. You are so precious to Jesus. Jesus loves you so much. I will sit on the edge with you because I know how it feels to wonder if there is hope. I also know how it feels to discover hope. But I will sit in silence if that is what you need.
Even if you are just experiencing a rough time with no thoughts of anything drastic and just need someone to listen, I will listen.
Dear reader there are so many hurting people now. Let’s listen to them.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.