Kay Warren, the wife of renown pastor and author Rick Warren, wrote a phenomenal Facebook post on the experience of coming up to the first anniversary of the suicide of their son. What struck me most forcibly in her message was that people were hoping that they would ‘get over’ Matthew’s death. That after enough time had passed (subtext: surely a year is enough!) that she and Rick would find a way back to life as they had known it before this most devastating event. By way of contrast she describes true friends:
True friends – unlike Job’s sorry excuse for friends – love at all times, and brothers and sisters are born to help in time of need (Prov. 17:17 LB).The truest friends and “helpers” are those who wait for the griever to emerge from the darkness that swallowed them alive without growing afraid, anxious or impatient. They don’t pressure their friend to be the old familiar person they’re used to; they’re willing to accept that things are different, embrace the now-scarred one they love, and are confident that their compassionate, non-demanding presence is the surest expression of God’s mercy to their suffering friend. They’re ok with messy and slow and few answers….and they never say “Move on.”
I find myself pausing on the words ‘they’re willing to accept that things are different, embrace the now-scarred one they love, and confident that their compassionate, non-demanding presence is the surest expression of God’s mercy to their suffering friend’
I pray that when it is required of me, that I might have the grace to be able to be this kind of friend, or sister, or daughter.