The concept of being seen (or not) has been on my mind lately, so when my dear friend Pringle recently blogged about people’s attempts at comforting her after the loss of her father, this sentence caught my attention: “The only comfort came when people validated my deep sorrow, sharing tears, hugs, or empathy, without trying to justify God’s handling of the situation.” (Click here for the full story)
What she wanted was to be seen.
I’m a fixer, so when someone is hurting I often race towards action without fully recognizing his or her feelings. Well-intentioned, yes, but I can do better. I can see them as an unique individual experiencing deep feelings rather than as a solvable problem. Can you see the difference? One is humanizing, the other unintentionally objectifying.
If there is someone you know experiencing hardship, please consider calling or writing him or her to say: “I imagine you are really hurting. Please tell me how you feel. I want to know you.”
Now that is love.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15