Saturday, May 22, 2021

Walk With Me

 

When you see me smiling and it appears that all is great, ask if it really is.

When you see me walking alone, ask if you can walk with me.

When you see me crying ask if you can cry with me.

Why do you have to visibly see me to ask a question?

What you cannot see is that I’m dying on the inside but not on the outside.

What you cannot see is that I am moments away from the next life.

Oh, but what if you could just really see me?      Unknown

 

My heart breaks when I hear someone’s story of crying out in hurt and pain but never really saying anything to anyone. I wonder…why? Why didn’t this person say something to someone that maybe could have helped. Why didn’t they step up and say they are in need and at that very moment my spirit quickens me asking why am I just blaming the person needing help? Why do I place all responsibility on the one person so emotionally weak that they cannot possibly know what to do?

 I feel like a terrible person, like a person without a conscience that looks the other way when coming across someone in need. I walk through a range of emotions trying to fortify myself by remembering all the good things I’ve done for people. All the good that perhaps I may have provided to someone at some point. And I realize, I am trying to make myself not feel so guilty about the person in the poem. I’m not to blame I say, they are. They should have asked for help. Then I find myself at square one regardless of what I think because I still cry for them. The fault is on them, well partly, so is the fault on me? Also partly, but it’s not about who is to blame and who isn’t but it is more about who I am inside and what I am made of. Its about my being able to live out what I profess. To be authentic, to be intimate with my friends and others that may cross my path. Be in their lives in good times and in bad. Do not be a “fair weather” friend, as they say. I want myself and other men to learn to see others when they don’t say anything, to see others when their smile is so clearly a front. To know someone so well that we do ask the questions in the poem asking often and sincerely is your life really ok? Are you walking so alone right now because I want to join you, just so I can be so close to you that maybe I hear your heart beat and recognize you’re dying on the inside. I so want to be this kind of friend to my friends.

 

The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 2:3 to think of others as better than ourselves. Wow, is there anything so hard to do when all that consumes us is us? Of course there isn’t. Let me clarify, I don’t mean that we knowingly think about ourselves all day long. I don’t mean to say that we are even aware or conscience about how selfish we are. After all, very few people can say, “hey I know I’m selfish and I’m okay with that.” But in all honesty, most all we do is planned out and designed to our personal specifications. Made to order for us, so to speak. The clothes we wear, the food we like, music and so on and so on. Life is all about us after all, isn’t it? No, I’m not saying that we never think about others, we do. If we’re husbands, we think about the wife, if a dad, we think about the kids. We do plan on being a good spouse and dad, and provider, protector, care giver, and on occasion, a coach. For our family we do this without giving it a second thought because we know they matter. Through all the ups and downs, they always matter. But if we slow down and take a peek at the “how” we perform all these things for our family, we will see that all we do is still doing it the way we want to do it, with as little inconvenience as possible, with no distractions and certainly at times, we do all these things never really considering how much of ourselves we put into it. 

Practically speaking, how do we do life considering others as better than ourselves? We do it by seeing the other person, regardless of who they are, by looking beyond their faults and seeing their need. The real need. Not how we want to look at them, not how we want to categorize them, and not even thinking about how they aren’t even in our lives, except for that moment. It is about that moment though; it is about our giving heart, our supposedly loving heart, whether we give willingly and unselfishly or do we just move around them without feeling guilty. This is when our selfishness comes out and we just move on without a single thought of guilt. When what we have to do takes front and center stage. This is where the measure of us becomes clear, so very clear, that we are so engulfed by our own self that we lose the ability to feel for what the other person really needs.

 Friendship may be defined in a few ways, but I believe the most telling is when we can raise our friends, up with all their needs, to support and provide for with all our heart. When we simply just do things for them as we see fit or when we believe we can. I want friends to ask me how I’m doing from the goodness of their heart. With well meaning intent that shows me that it doesn’t matter how long I’ve known them, but they show up in my life, good times and bad times, saying they’re my friend and most importantly, proving it.