“When I was younger, I lost a child.” The truth comes out of nowhere. In the silent space of a seemingly casual conversation, it escapes her mouth. Her eyes don’t meet mine. Her voice cracks, and we keep walking through the frosty yard. My hand finds her shoulder, and my eyes fill with tears.
What do we do with such truth? What do we say when people’s hearts spill over. Sometimes there are no words for the losses people carry, for the shame they feel, for the wounds buried deep.
I am learning that it doesn’t always matter what we say. Words fail often. They aren’t built to handle such heavy things. But, it does matter that we always listen and we always HONOR.
We honor the courage it takes to tell such truth.
We all have our stories. We all have painful moments, shameful memories, broken times, unfulfilled dreams, and unanswered questions.
This darkness can make us feel like we are all alone, caught in the middle. However, when we stop and tell the truth about our stories, when we dare to look the darkness and the shame and the brokenness in the face, when we grab the hand of the person next to us and hold on tightly…amazing things happen.
These conversations aren’t always convenient, and they aren’t always comfortable. In fact, authenticity and honesty are RARELY either one of those things. They are more akin to standing stark naked in front of a crowd.
Not convenient, not comfortable, BUT SO NECESSARY. Necessary to living full, shameless lives. Necessary to fulfilling God’s calling for us. Necessary to building true community.
When we tell the truth about our hearts, when we dare the whisper the lies that haunt us and the fears that keep us up at night, what do we find?
We find that we are not alone.
We find that we are loved.
We find that we are seen.
We find that we are brave.
We find that we are worthy.
We find that we are more than enough.