“What can I do now? I’m just a burden to my sons!”
A woman sobbed uncontrollably her sorrow further making garbled speech hard to understand. I can only pat her back as she exerted a lot of effort in talking properly. Struck with stroke at an age uncommon to the malady, she was left with a half paralyzed body starting from her face down to her feet. Good thing all her language faculties were intact.
I sat there her at her side patting her back not knowing what to do or say. I figured that whatever I could do or say would make matters worse. More of her pent up emotions could emerge aside from that, I am not even married to know anything better to say. I decided to listen while trying my best to make her be at ease or better yet, stop. I wouldn’t mind her opening up to me, but I feared for her rising blood pressure than anything else. She can talk all she want as long as she wont have another debilitating stroke under my watch.
I breathed a sigh of relief when she stopped. I breathed an even deeper sigh of relief when the session was over. I could feel the frustration. I can understand the pain, but what can I do? Sometimes mere words could not get through. Sometimes, a listening ear is just what people need.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1
Though sometimes misinterpreted, misused and over-used, the 13th of Corinthians has been known to be the love chapter. Commonly known to start with “love is…” the real first verse tells us what love should really be: silent and listening.
I’m not really referring to romantic love between two lovers, but this is also applicable. The verse tells us that we don’t need to speak good words or encouraging words; most times we could show other people, as in random people, love by listening and empathizing. There are people who could not stand being advised by another person let alone a total stranger. There are those whose woes would only add up as you respond to them by opening your mouth. Real love is felt when you listen.
Some people just need a way to release all their pent up anger or frustration. They just needed someone to hear them out, someone to release all their feelings. They needed another person because they feel so alone. They needed someone who could relate to them. Anyone would do so why can’t it be you?
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” – Genesis 2:18
I’ve heard this used in a lot of weddings and love and courtship speakers in church. It has been used to tell us that man should have a partner in life. Another point of this verse tells us the over-all human condition: that man should not be alone. Man cannot stand alone on his own. It doesn’t necessarily mean someone from the opposite sex (but it would be best to be from the opposite sex). It just reaffirms that we are social beings and that we need each other to carry one another’s burdens. It goes to tell us that God created us to interact, to reach out with one another that we won’t feel the loneliness that this sin corrupted world has to offer.
The point is, we need listening ears to show love and we need another person’s presence to ease our burdens. It was something God said.
Hence, we need people we call FRIENDS.