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I gently scratched and then noticed a tiny loose piece.  It was then that I began picking.  Before I knew it, I had picked the entire scab off and it was bleeding.  Ugh… Why do I do that?  Why is it that we can know that picking at a scab will result in blood, but yet we pick?

Much like the scab on my right elbow that I picked off last week, there are scabs in life that when we pick at them make us bleed.  One of the scars that I often find myself picking at is friendship in times of crisis.

Several years ago, Tom & I walked through some REALLY hard times as a part of some business struggles that were horribly hard to walk through.  A part of the journey produced wounds in me that are deep and bleed easily.  Today I picked at them, and tonight I’m bleeding a bit.

In the midst of the bleeding, I want to encourage you… BE A FRIEND.  The bible tells us

friend loves aall times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. – Proverbs 17:17

Life is hard.  We are all going to walk through something hard.  For some of us it is turmoil in business, for some it is marriage and relationships, some of us will have kids that make bad choices, and others will struggle with addiction or something else.  But friends, here’s the thing…  no matter what life throws at us, we all need a friend.  Especially in the midst of the storm, we need a friend.  We need to know that we are not alone and that even in the hard times we have people who care about us.

Maybe you have a friend who is walking through something hard.  Maybe you don’t know what to say.  I’m sure you’re thinking “I don’t want her to think everyone is talking about her.”  or, “I don’t want to come across as judgmental.”  I get it.  I really do.  So often it is hard to know what to say.  But here’ the thing.  When you don’t say anything in exasperates the storm they are walking through.  On top of the trial and frustrations, feeling like your friends are abandoning you because they don’t reach out or talk to you, well… it just plain stinks.

When we walked through one of our storms, we quickly realized who was going to be there for us when the times got tough.  And here’s the thing, we decided that we would be that type of person.  The type of person who reaches out and says, I don’t know what to say but I want you to know I’m thinking of you.  The kind that breaks the ice, even when it is ackward.

When I look at Jesus, I don’t see him silently hanging out in the background or walking the other direction.  Instead, I see story after story where he went out of his way, against the norm of his time, to reach out.  He didn’t say it’s your fault you made bad choices, and therefore I don’t want anything to do with you.  Instead he extended love and grace.  It’s not that there weren’t consequences for actions, but in the midst of the storm and pain, he extended love.

I don’t know who it is, but I’m guessing we can each think of someone that could use a friend to walk with them through a hard time.  Please…. Be a Friend.  For Christ’s sake… be a friend.  

Today, I picked at this scab.  The scab of walking through hard stuff and realizing many of friends weren’t going to walk with us.  Many were silent, and never mentioned it.  It’s been several years.  The scab should be healed.  But still, just a little picking opens up the wound again.

And I see others, many of whom hurt so deeply, because they feel like in their hardest moments many of their “friends” abandoned them.  And in addition to whatever it is they are walking through, they are mourning the friendships that they “thought” they had.  Some are freshly bleeding, and a scab has yet to form.  Others have long term scabs that get bumped open once in a while.  And each time, my heart aches.  Because.I.Get.It.

Never once during our time of turmoil did I think, boy I wish they this person or that person hadn’t asked me about that, or said that to me.  The reality was I knew people knew.  I could tell by how they looked at us, or acted around us. (and in some cases avoided us) I just longed for authentic and real relationship, where I didn’t have to pretend that everything was just fine.

Friends… be awkward.  Say something.  A friend loves at all times.  Period.  For Christ’s sake, be a friend.  Please.

P.S. For those dear friends who held us up in the storms of life, thank you for being “Christ” to us!