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Batons and Grocery Bags.

“Dear friend,

When you tell me about your troubles and struggles, when you lay your all pain bare for me to see, as though pain were a spectacle to behold, when you pull me into your world and show me around, show me how it’s falling apart, when you open a tiny window in your heart so I can see the scars being pried open, new wounds being drilled in and feel the weight of the burden you carry, I want you to know that I hear you. I hear you and I see you. I hear you and my heart breaks for you. Pieces of my heart are chipped away every time I realize there’s little more I can do but lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on, when I realize I am powerless against the multitude of your pain, of your struggle, when I realize that I can hardly make it better for you.

I want you to know, dear friend, that I pray for you often; that many a time, I wish my own skin were thick enough to shield you from the hardships of this life; that I wish your pain were a baton that you could hand over to me so I can run your race a while just so you could catch a break; that I wish your burdens were grocery bags that I could take off your weary hands; that I wish I could snap a finger and have this world, this life be kinder to you; that I wish my embrace would be shelter enough from it all.

And on the days I say to you, “It will be okay,” I want you to know, dear friend, that I do not say from a place of condescension; I do not because it is what people are accustomed to saying nor do I say it because I do not understand the gravity of your struggles, of your pain; I do not say it because there is a little else I could do but hope that those four words will be enough comfort. I instead say it because I genuinely do believe it, because I am certain of it. It will be all right. I do not know when nor do I know how. But I know that some day, it will all come together. Even though the set of them be unique to each of us, our troubles themselves are not new. And that it is not to undermine their magnitude. But it is to say that others have been here, in this same position, have struggled with these very things and made it out the other end. And so will we. So will you. It is to say that God has seen and dealt with troubles like ours before. Surely He will again. It will be okay.

And if it be any more comforting, I want you to know, dear friend, that you are never alone. You will not tread these paths alone. I am right here with you. I am with you every step of the way. I am rooting for you. I am cheering you on. And most importantly, I am immensely proud of you regardless of what you do or do not become. I am right here with you.


A friend.”

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