There are some people in life who want to gloss over some uncomfortable truths, some people who will always try and turn your situation around so its your fault not theirs, some people who believe they have the answer to your problems and one size fits all.
Most of us know life isn’t like that. When major life events hit us sometimes there is no one to blame and maybe it wasn’t our fault. Perhaps there is someone to blame but justice isn’t seen to be done. Maybe we blame ourselves and haven’t been able to move on. And sometimes the plain truth is that’s “just the way it is”.
Living with the consequences can be really difficult but that’s just the way it is. Well meaning folk will tell us there’s others worse off than us, that these things are sent to try us etc. etc. Mostly they are just trying to make us or themselves feel better. Minimising the pain or distress of others says alot about us.
There are some things that cannot be undone, where life has changed in the twinkling of an eye and bad things happen to those who didn’t seem to deserve it. How do we make sense of things when tragedy or disaster strike? Well meaning friends may be like those who sat with Job when his life fell apart, telling him it must be his fault somehow.
Others are prepared to be alongside us in our darkest moments, offering nothing but their love and their accepting presence. Sometimes there are no words to offer, just a hug, a sharing of tears, an acknowledgement that your pain is real.
There is a quote I was given a few years ago which I believe goes like this
Suffering isn’t a question that demands an answer
Or a problem that demands a solution
But a mystery that requires a presence. (Anon)
Despite our big questions about where God is right now and why has this happened, there are mysteries we will never be able to fathom. I only know in the darkest moments of my life there has been a very real Presence, sometimes offering me nothing more than Himself. Other times that presence has had skin on and been my friends who’ve shared my pain without judging me. That was “just the way it is” right then but these times have passed and I’ve been able to heal, to be restored and to accept that I may never know all the answers. All I know is that’s just the way it is for now. Could you be that presence in someone else’s mystery?