I’m not sure how to begin this; everything coming to mind sounds false and contrived. So I’ll simply say ‘hello’. If you’re like me, you’ve got something weighing heavily on you. It might be your financial situation; heavy debt; a past or pending divorce; physical pain; illness in your family; the loss of a loved one. Sure enough, there are many ways a person can hurt.
I’m sorry I can’t do much for you. If you need a job and it were in my power to give you one, I would, but the sad fact is I can’t even get myself a job. I can’t do anything to save your marriage or forgive your debt. If I could heal pain and illness, as selfish as it sounds, I’d start with my family. But I can’t do that either.
About the only thing I can do is love you. Because if you’re anything like me, which is to say, a human being, then you deserve love simply for being. You are valuable to me even if your job title or bank account says otherwise. I may not be able to restore your marriage, take away your pain, or bring a loved one back to life, but I will gladly sit and cry with you. You deserve that much, at least. You are a child of God, whether you know it or not, and though I have no silver or gold, what I do have I give to you: Love.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, as you read this in your personal struggles, know that I love you for no other reason than the fact that you exist. What you have is enough; what you are is enough. I know the world tells you to be, do, and have more; it tells me the same thing. But as I write this I’m thinking of you, even if I don’t know you personally, and I can honestly tell you that I love you.
You don’t need money any more than I do; you need to be loved in your poverty.
You don’t need to be saved from your debt; you need to be accepted in your indebtedness.
You don’t need someone to fix your marriage; you need to be loved in your pain and sense of failure.
You don’t need someone to heal your child; you need someone who will stand by you in your helplessness.
You don’t need someone to bring your mother back to life; you need someone who can comfort you in your hopelessness.
We can’t control many of the circumstances of our lives, and I don’t believe it’s always physiologically possible to control how we react to adversity. But that’s what community is for, isn’t it? In its purest form, isn’t this the purpose of the church? To sit down in the middle of someone’s mess and cry with them, to offer them encouragement, to love them. Because love, at least, they deserve. And love, at the very least, we can offer at any time and in any circumstance.