Someone's life is falling apart and you are just standing there.
I was at a birthday party for my daughter's friend. I saw the mom get off her phone from across the room; she was crying. I went over, just to give a hug, to rub her back...
"I just got a call that I have cancer." Her children are younger than mine.
I am very grateful that I know the Lord. That prayers well up when in my own humanness I have nothing to say. "Sorry" means nothing. Prayers of peace, of healing.
The things that moments before were center of mind, how hot it is outside, how to organize dress up clothes, if the children are getting along...it all fades away to nothing.
Grief. The change of what you thought this year would look like, the plans you made — now nothing is certain. How serious is it? How will my life be different after today because of this? Will I grow old with my children?
I felt like an intruder. Someone who was looking on the face of grief, the crumpling of someone's heart. I wanted to be there, but at the same time, I felt like that was a moment that "should" be spent with people they've known, people who deeply love them, people who care and will be there.
But that wasn't the case. I was there. A near stranger. But I could pray. I could wrap my arms around her, carry some of that burden. I could listen. I could breathe. And pray more. Hug her. Rub her back. And continue to pray.
Sometimes God lets us enter into someone's pain even when we feel like we shouldn't. When we grieve for them that their grief is seen by others. But then we can pray. We can care in a way that if the hurting person just says, oh, it was a bad call...we would not have the middle of the night pleading sessions on their behalf before God.
Sometimes just being there, praying, touching, is all we can do.