Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own family's problems I don't see people around me that are really hurting. The elderly woman who has no food, the ones in pain, the ones struggling with relationships or their marriage, the families who are struggling financially, the troubled and abused kids, the women who are battling cancer, depression, or migraines, these people are all around me. Some are loud and outspoken when they are suffering, and they, for the most part, draw attention to their needs. Others are quiet about it. I think they are doing more or less fine, until they are in crisis. Yes, they've given me subtle signs of distress, but I've more or less blown them off. Just about everyone I know isn't doing as well financially these days, right?
But too often I miss the soft cries of distress. In too many instances, the people in the most need of help, emotional support, and of course prayer, are the ones who hide their needs until they can't take it anymore. I don't know if it's pride, despair, shame, fear, wrong thinking, or what, but I'm guilty of not involving others in my struggles too, at least until the crisis is over and I tell them how bad it was. Not that I expect others to do for me what I can and should do myself, but I have come to the realization that I can't do everything alone. No one can live this life alone. We need each other. And even if we can't do much for someone else, we can come alongside and share our lives.
Yes, I'm figuratively kicking myself today for missing the cries of a friend. I was too busy. I was overwhelmed with my own stuff. I could have taken the time to listen, but when I finally made the time it was too late. I was insensitive. Of course hindsight is 20/20, and I shouldn't stay in this place of shame, but I pray that God will open my eyes and give me wisdom for the next time. In the meantime, I am grieving for my friend, and pray that God will bless her and give her wisdom. And I pray that God will bring to her those who can lift her up in her time of need.