Often we don’t hear the words. “Your voice counts. Your presence makes a difference.” So many times those beside someone digging through a dark wall, can wonder if they are any help.
Sometimes we underestimate the power of our presence.
Holding a light of hope while they chip away at a tunnel toward freedom feels paltry compared to their groans. Even bolstering words can sound limp. “Hang in there.” “God will see you through.”
Just being there shows empathy and value. They often feel lost and alone, too weary to respond. To say thank you one more time, in their seeming never-ending marathon.
Recently, I was surprised by a comment after a meeting, “Your voice was needed today.” It had brought change and relief to someone holed in bureaucracy.
Loyalty. Faithfulness. Love in action. Maybe you feel it is not much. After all, you cannot chip at the tunnel for another. It is their course.
They must lift their own feeble arms and use their own strength to advance through the quarry facing them daily. They must bear the weight of dirt laden boots shuffling through the quagmire of bleak circumstances day after day. It is their cross, and the Lord is with them. He has given them enough grace to fight. We are given the insight to pray.
They may face a terrific trial of the soul, oppressed by a demanding boss, unfair teachers or backbiting peers. They may fight insidious inner voices sabotaging their reason and sanity, dominating siblings or spouses, jeering bullies. Medical maladies. Another round of radiation therapy. Complications from the last surgery. A drug-addicted child…or spouse.
Grievous to them…and to us. We wonder too, when will this ever change, God?
Your presence helps them know…you believe this too will pass. It is a struggle for you not to take a boulder in your own hands. Make calls, torpedo words and create your own explosive actions—absent God’s will and plan and timing.
But you have learned about timing. You know, “our times are in God’s hands.” (Psalm 31:15 NIV) Theirs as yours. You have learned your lessons, navigated your own tunnels. If you slam the walls too hard from impatience, around and above, the ceiling can cave in. Tunnel passages require a slow chipping, a slow suffering, not a hasty block of dynamite.
Is your voice needed to intervene for a child, a teen, an elderly person, a single parent, those who are sick?
Prayers can take a long time to be answered. Persevere. Pray for tenacity for those moving toward their future goals, derailed easily by dark doubts and haunting yesterdays. Or those weakened from invisible battle wounds of the heart. Ask for fresh words and ways to encourage those with chronic illness or sudden physical setbacks, remembering people cope differently with loss or transition.
We watch and wait in hope. We know when the wall begins to crumble and the light angles through the cracks, they will feel a gust of fresh air shift—that first deep inhalation. We know the tunnel is ending when we glimpse tears pooling in once dull eyes, and shoulders straightening.
Then we will know, as we believe now—we are where we needed to be, doing what God has called us to do. Nothing big, nothing grand. Just to stand. Stand with them hidden from the public eye. Watch and pray trusting God until their breakthrough to hope and peace.
For, if you have been comforted by the Lord and His presence through others, if you have known His patience and faithfulness in your own life, you will be able to encourage others the same way you were encouraged. (2 Corinthians 1:4)