Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

You didn’t ask.

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are times in our lives when we have to ask the difficult questions of the people we love and some questions are harder than others to ask, among them:

Are you okay?

Is everything alright?

What’s the matter?

Can I help?…

There are friends in my orbit who have managed over the years to call, text or simply ring the doorbell when there are signs of need (theirs or mine) and in return, over the years, I’ve tried to be the same kind of friend.  But, sometimes – you don’t see the signs.  A person can be so deeply buried under the emotion of a thing so unbelievably heavy, you can’t see around the weight of their world and so you never see the signals.  Others are so good at hiding stress, emotions and the burrs under their saddle that you can miss the opportunity to voice concern or offer assistance.  And by you I suppose what I really mean this time… is me.

Recently, I made the mistake of keeping my mouth shut.  Yes, I’m as surprised as you are and I’ll wait while you compose yourself from the shock my having being quiet, for once in a long life (it’s a rare occurrence and probably worthy of a moment of silence for my silence – I’ll give you that).

You see, I walked in on a conversation about a dear friend having silently gone through weeks upon weeks of ongoing physical concerns, medical tests and their subsequent results and I was dumbstruck.  When I questioned why, after weeks she didn’t say something, her response was one I didn’t expect… “You didn’t ask.”

No, I didn’t.

The questions would have been simple and had I been more aware, or if we’d been able to spend more time together during the course of our busy-busy lives, I certainly would have asked her:

Are you okay?

Is everything alright?

What’s the matter?

Can I help?…

Since I didn’t ask, I can only guess what the answers might have been:

I am now.

It will be.

Never mind.

I didn’t ask.  I didn’t know how to ask.  I can only be comforted now by the words of writer Henri Nouwen.  “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.”

Yes, I was silent and for that I am sorry.  But even if I am not asked, I hope my friends know that I will always carry one whose heart is full of despair and confusion.  I will stay for hours, without question, in times of grief and bereavement.  And though my heart be heavy, I will bear (and only barely tolerate) not knowing, being unable to heal and incapable of curing – because I care.  It is the only answer.

xo – t.

We thought we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.” – Bono

“The meaning of life.  The wasted years of life.  God answers the mess of life with one word: ‘grace.’” – Max Lucado

Asking the right questions takes as much as giving the right answers.” – Robert Half

Faith is about trusting God when you have unanswered questions.” – Joel Osteen

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss

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