Something that I wrote often about over at “Mommy, Go Fast!” was the topic of love. It has taken me having some life trials in my adult years to feel love (GOD) so strongly.
It states in the Bible, and could not be any more true, that you cannot experience love unless you give it away.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. – Luke 6:38
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. – Proverbs 11:24-25
I would also go further that you cannot expect to receive love unless you allow yourself to receive it. For example, I can show you love and express my care for you, but unless you bear yourself to me I will not know how to care for you. If you do not allow people into your heart they cannot give you love. Further, if you do not allow people into your heart they will not know what to pray for. … Those people who walk around with their hearts in vaults and masks on their faces are doing themselves a complete disservice.
Being there for someone who is hurting is a painful thing to do. If you are a compassionate person, you just want to fix it and be done because you are hurting too. However, God allows the trials for our loved ones for His reasons and we just have to sit, be there, and pray. Watching one suffer, and suffering yourself, is the worst.
One of my most favorite authors, Jen Hatmaker, wrote a blog post about this very topic here
In it, she wrote:
Suffering invites us to be radically human with one another, perhaps doing nothing more than reaching across the table, clasping hands, and weeping together. We are afforded the chance to create a safe place for someone else to mourn; nothing is needed but space, proximity, presence, empathy.
Now THAT is what being a brother or sister is right there, folks. Right there? That is LOVE. So when someone calls you crying because her marriage does not feel good anymore or their family member died or someone they love is sick or THEY are sick or they are just sick and tired with the trials of life… YOU, my friend, are going to open your heart and your ears and offer your shoulder for the tears and just LOVE. It’s what we are called to do.