August 14th 2012, Day 14, Proverbs 14
“The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends will be an outsider at their celebrations.” Proverbs 14:10 (The Message)
Don’t you hate the way people sometimes are around you when you’re really going through something really tough and word gets round…?
Some people really don’t seem to know what to do or how to treat you!
Some want to give you good advice, others want to tell you how they felt when they went through something similar and some want to know all about …in excruciating detail.
Still others feel awkward and just don’t know what to say… so they actually avoid acknowledging you. I understand how that can happen, but the problem is this looks too much like the behaviour of another group of people; the ones I think this proverb is talking about; the ones who are so wrapped up in what’s going on in their own lives that they don’t have time for other people’s ‘bitter moments’ For the most part I don’t think it’s that they deliberately ignore the distress of those around them, sadly I rather think they are oblivious to it!
I think the best ones are the friends who are just there; make themselves known to you as hurting with you and for you; close enough to hug you and cry with you if that’s what you need; being a refuge, a place to escape the situation for a while if that’s what you need; being a pair of ears if you need to sound off and express some of what you’re thinking – even if it’s not thought through yet; but only being a mouth if you actually ask them to share their thoughts, comments and advice; but happy to just be there in the background supporting, encouraging, helping as much or as little as you will let them / need them to.
I’m so grateful for a small circle of friends I have who are in this latter group – they are real treasures in my life.