I have this friend,
by Pat Guy
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
What if I were to tell you I have a friend who has a problem and nobody else knows about it? I can’t mention any names because they’d be embarrassed if they knew you knew. So how about if I just say their name is Jordan. I mean … I’m sure you won’t tell anyone … right?
Well, I started worrying about them awhile back when they seemed irritable and snappy … and not just for a little while either. This went on for a long time. Like they were always on edge. Then they seemed moody and quiet. I read the Bible, prayed and did some research to try and help but all they said was they wanted to be left alone.
Then everything seemed fine for awhile, but I know Jordan – something wasn’t right. I could see what others couldn’t.
I don’t think Jordan knows exactly what’s wrong but I think they feel totally lost in the hopelessness of whatever it is. How do I help them? What do I do that they haven’t done already? They know how to hide it so well now. I need to know.
It’s almost like I can feel their pain. They’re so deeply sad and deep dark lonely inside. I don’t think they even know how angry they are. They say they feel like God will help other people, but not them. And they continually wonder ‘Why?’ about a lot of things.
Jordan does have many reasons to wonder why … but, I can’t get into that just now. But I do know she gets tired of trying, and trying, and trying. She says it’s even hard to read the Bible and pray anymore.
So okay – you know Jordan is a ‘she’ now … that’s alright. Nothing hurt. And by the way, she knows she shouldn’t feel this way – that it’s not right … but she does … and she doesn’t want to … and she’s tired.
She doesn’t know where to begin anymore.
What? Be still? Don’t think? Don’t pray? Be silent? Rest?
I don’t think I understand. What does that mean?
Let the worship and praise from other hearts rain upon her empty one?
If you mean go to church – she already does … I’m not clear …
Oh … stay focused on what’s going on around her while she’s there – to listen and don’t think … still her mind.
That’s going to be hard to do. And what’s this about not praying? You can’t mean that, really. That doesn’t sound right to me.
Soooo … being with God will be enough for now? She needs to just sit there, be still and be quiet? God’s Presence will help her to rest?
Rest … that sounds really … nice. How does she do this?
Shut her door.
Shut her door and come to God? Relax? Sit at His feet, lean up against the Throne, Him – or whatever feels comfortable to her?
Ummm … she doesn’t feel she can do that … I think she feels too ashamed. Praying from a distance is better.
Do it anyway? He knows …
But shouldn’t she say something? Alright, just rest. She might try that. Okay … and then what?
What? No. She has to wait? She’s been waiting for years already!
She … oh … alright … if she feels she has to do something, she’s to write it all down and be honest about everything.
But wait a minute, if she’s to be honest about everything, then that means … ummm … that sounds too scary. I don’t know … that might take more guts than she’s got.
Then she’s to give it all to Him?
For real? I mean … everything she’s written? I’m not sure she could do this. There’s too much, I mean … Oh, she’s to tear it up and throw it away. That sounds good to me.
Rest. Quiet her mind and be with God.
Anything else …?
Come back? With more stuff? Until she’s run out of words?
That could take a long time. What next?
“One step at a time my child. Until then … let true worship and praise from other hearts rain upon the emptiness of your own. Let My Presence be your daily rest. It’s okay. I will never leave you or forsake you. We’ll work this out together. Come … sit by Me.”
I … … uhhh … I’ll … tell her Lord.
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (NIV)
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As usual Pat you speak the truth. Merci...
Like the experimental style here--a LOT!!! The only thing I didn't care for was the "they" instead of "she" in the first part of this piece. Just personal preference. I REALLY like the quoteless, italicless monologue format. Really effective and creative. And...I read a lot of myself here, too. Thanks for writing this!
Once I got into the rhythm of this peice, (about 1/3 down) I began to understand what it was saying - and was able to identify with the emotional turmoil. Then I was able to say, yes, this is a good work with a universal message.
This is great! One of your best yet (and definitely a favorite of mine now!) I think anyone could relate to this and you did such a good job with the feel and flow of it that I felt as if it were me you were writing about. The last line was great though-awesome writing! ^_^
Powerful! Thank you for sharing this story of inspiration! Masterpiece!
You've captured well the way our hearts often are when we come before God, wrestling with life. I found the use of the plural pronouns in the beginning a bit confusing. I did realize why you did that later, when you disclosed you were talking about a 'she,' and you'd been trying to keep that identity a secret, though. I enjoyed this piece. And I love how it ends with the hope of rest for the weary 'wrestler.' Blessings, Cheri
Oops, forgot to say that I also liked your title. Don't we often do that? Try and hide ourselves from God, as if He doesn't know everything about us already?
I was in a similar situation as your friend several years ago, all I can say is to tell her not to give up.
Great article, Pat. This article is so truthful. How awkward it can be to witness especially when you are witnessing to yourself. I really enjoyed this article. God bless you. In Christ, Christian
Ahh, I've been there. Great writing. (((hugs, friend))