Two of my friends wrote excellent posts this weekend. The first by Ann Kruse entitled, “Stuck,” details Ann’s realization that she was stuck in a rut. I always love her use of language and words. Sometimes, she uses words which I don’t always know. She uses the words in such a way that I can interpret what they mean by their usage. That, to me, is always a sign of a very good writer. The use of language encourages the reader to learn, not be left behind or shut out because they don’t know a specific word.
The second post I read was by my friend Tracie. Tracie writes about things that are yellow and often about things that make her happy. In this post, people she knows are struggling. In her post, “Possibilities,” she writes about how her friends are hurting. She wants to help them. Immediately – go to them and fix their hurting. But she knows that she can’t do that.
Both of these posts struck a chord in me. Both of these women often write words that touch that place in my being where the only thing I hear is that “hmm.” It isn’t a hum as much as everything in me is in complete sync with their words. I could not have said what they said any better.
For different reasons, both of these women are amazingly strong in my eyes. They have struggled to get where they are and to become the people they are. And yet, they persevere. And they smile as they do it. And they make me want to persevere. I am honored to know them both.
To me, these are the markings of a good friend. When you are happy, there is no one else you want to call. When you are sad, you know you can call them and they will listen to you. After the conversation is over, you will probably feel better. If not better, safe. You know you can tell them what is truly on your heart and they won’t turn away. They will probably want to fix your hurt, but know they can’t. And you will probably want to fix theirs. That is the nature of friendships – sharing each other’s hurts and joys.
At the end of her post, Ann shared a video of the Avett Brothers song February Seven. She said it would be worth watching and it totally was. I hope you feel it is worth the watch as well.
One of the lines I like best from this song is “Life stepped in and pulled me to my feet.” Usually it is the other way around. Life jumps in and knocks me to my knees. This is the side of life Tracie is describing about her friends. They are struggling and she wants to pull them to their feet.
This is no news to you I’m sure, but life has many different factors which we all encounter every day. It has ups and downs, stuck places, places where we need traveling shoes to keep up, and everything in between. Sometimes we hurt and sometimes we sing.
The part of Tracie’s post that resonates most with me was when she acknowledges that it is a choice to heal. Sometimes people are not ready. It is too scary or too painful to try one more time and hope for something better. I have been there. It is a place where pain has blocked our vision from ever seeing a new horizon. And unfortunately, no one can fix that for us. Nor can we fix it for anyone else.
But once we realize we are in that place, that stuck place, we can move on. We may have to sit by the sidelines and rest. As in the story of the Good Samaritan, we can only hope that someone will watch the road for us while we recover. Or that we can be that person for someone else when they are in that getting unstuck space.
My friend, Jim Manley, wrote a song called “Watch The Road” that I wish was on youtube so I could share it with you. It speaks in that profound “hmm” way to me. “I will watch the road for you, oh I will watch the road.” Jim, the singer of the song, takes watch so that the person to whom he is singing, can rest and regain strength to carry on.
We all need that sometimes. That someone who cares to watch the road and make sure we are safe. That is my wish for you today. The world needs you to be strong and carry on. I hope you are in that place, but if not, I wish someone to watch the road for you so that you can go back to doing what feeds your soul and doing what the world needs most from you.