We all know at least one of them. Those strong and resilient overcomers who we respect and admire, the ones that just cope so well and seem to have it all together. We could never do what they do, they’re so much stronger than us.
That single mum who is juggling work, kids and the lonely hours between sunset and sunrise. The student who works extra hours whenever they can to pay the rent, and volunteers for church, and is available for their friends whenever they call. That girl who just found out her Dad has a terminal illness and might not make it to Christmas. The guy who recently had his heart broken and is still figuring out how to piece it together.
We know their story, but because they aren’t shouting it from the rooftops, we don’t say anything. We assume that they’re coping.
We commend how brave, wise and Godly they are, and we don’t worry about them because they’re so capable. Plus they probably have enough people to look after them. We pray for them and hope for the best. It’s a little awkward to call or text and say ‘I was just thinking about you, and I’m here if you need anything’. So we don’t, because they might think we are being nosey or intrusive.
What do you say to those people who are hurting, anyway? We think to ourselves ‘I hope they are okay’, ‘they are amazing’ and ‘I wish there was something I could do’. We think that because we can’t fix their situation that we are useless, so we don’t do anything.
We’re all strong as and when we have to be, because we don’t have any other choice. That person you know, the one who you don’t have to worry about – they’re actually just like you. They only difference is that they’ve had to stretch themselves to survive the crappy season life has thrown at them, and yes they are staying afloat, because they have to.
I live in London, one of the busiest and loneliest cities in the world. I’ve experienced the type of loneliness that makes you ache from the inside out. However, I also haven’t called that person that I’ve been thinking about because “it’s not my place”. They will never know that I was thinking about them because I haven’t told them, and they will feel alone.
Those robust, capable people have days where they don’t want to get out of bed too, you know. They’re not always strong and they could be crumbling right now. So call them, reach out. Yes, there is a line and you don’t want to cross it. But sometimes I think we are so scared of crossing the line that we miss the opportunity to show love and be a blessing.
They look strong, but underneath it all they feel weak. They need you.
I don’t mind if you know my business because you probably heard it through the grapevine. I do mind if you know what I’m going through, you assume I’m okay because I’m ‘a tough one’, and you don’t let me know you care.
This post isn’t for me or about me, it’s about you or the friend that needs you.
Because even the strong people need to know you see them.
Have you ever been one either side of this fence? Do you wish you had called?