Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'd rather take a beating

No, this isn't one of those kinds of posts. There's a separate blog for that stuff.

This is about powerlessness.

It seems like I am getting a lesson in what I can do and what I can't, and I really don't like the length or content of the list in the "can't" column.

I hate it when my friends hurt. I hate it. I want to help. If truth be told, I'd like to be able to fix whatever's wrong, but I try now not to be a superhero, so I'd just like to be able to help.

It seems like a dozen or more of my friends are in tough spots right now. Several need jobs, some have kid troubles, some have health issues, a couple are being bullied at work, at least one is being discriminated against because of gender stuff, and more than a few are struggling financially. There is nothing I can do to alleviate any of their suffering. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

I have my own brand of stress in my life, too. I was sick for two weeks, missed a bunch of work and got behind just when I thought I might catch up. Oh, and while I was sick? I had to go to the hospital to see if I might actually die or have the plague or something, and I came home with a bill topping $2,000 from the emergency room where I endured a strep test and a CAT-scan with an IV with funky dye only to be told that I probably had a virus, and to go home, lie down and push fluids. Did I mention that I have no insurance? Yeah. That bill's now in my lap.

But I have been in tough spots before. I know I'll get through. It's watching my friends hurt that gets to me the most.

Honestly, I'd rather take a beating in a biker bar full of strangers than watch my friends hurt the way they're hurting right now. It makes my stomach hurt to see them suffer. It makes my head hurt. I want to help. God, but how I want to help.

And I can't.

There is not much I can do.

I can listen. I can empathize. I can hold them in my heart, if not always my arms.

And I can ache for them.


For the record, this is NOT where I want to hear platitudes about taking care of myself first, or letting go or any of that crap. I just want to say aloud that it hurts me when people I love are hurting. I don't need advice, nor do I really want it. I have to feel this, get through it, and turn it over and let it go. I know that. I just needed to say it out loud.


Mel said...

You're right. It hurts and it sucks and there's usually not a damn thing you can do about it.

Letting go, platitudes, blah, blah, blah.

msladydeborah said...


Check out the lyrics to one of my favorite inspirational songs:

"Somebody's heart must be broken each day. Sorrow and sadness must come sombody's way. No one cares and no one can bear such a heavy burden, take it to God in prayer."

I don't want to get too preachy but I believe that during moments like this it is time to PUSH! PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS!

No matter how you image God, if prayer doesn't work-what sense does it make to have faith in that manner of God?

Correct me if I am wrong-but aren't you going to seminary? Or did I miss a change of mind on your part?

Try praying over the circumstances and then see what God does about making changes.

Jen said...

I know. Feeling for others is so painful, and yet I can't NOT feel for my friends who are hurting. The wife of a dear friend of mine from high school just had a liver and kidney transplant. She's my age and has two young sons. I literally ache for them. Talking to many others, it sounds like so many people are hurting these days, in so many ways. More so than in recent times. And frankly, I'm sick of it. I want things to get better so my friends don't hurt, so that we all have jobs, so that things just get a little easier so we can all cope better.

AndyC said...

Assuming I am the aforementioned friend going through gender discrimination bullshit at work, I'd like to ask what the HELL you mean by "there's nothing you can do about it." first and foremost, you gave a shit, which was nice. second, you listened. third, you called people for me. And I know you would have done a hell of a lot more if I didn't say that I was fine. But, really, that whole "caring about what is going on" thing is sorta big.

Robin said...

And as one of those out of a job, let me add that just being there and listening, extending your heart and your arms (whether real or virtual) IS doing something.

Truly it is.