In A Bad Place With A Good Friend
I called a friend this week and started the conversation this way: If I were you, and this were me calling, I wouldn’t have answered the phone!
I am in a bad place, and I have a good friend.
I’ve been in this bad spot before where life seems hard and overwhelming. My words are negative, and my feelings are wounded. I’m paranoid. Spiritually, I’m on a roller-coaster, wrestling with God. I feel it would be better to stay home because the ugliness of my life will just rub off on everyone. The more I try to hold it in, the more it breaks through. Struggling is where I am, and it can’t be wrapped with a pretty Christian bow that most would like to see.
What makes my friend good is her love for me and my struggle. She’s not trying to make it right. My rants do not frighten her or change her opinion of me. She’s fine with knowing me, the one who is overwhelmed, negative, wounded. It’s humbling to have a friend see the ugliness of your life and not walk away.
My friend and I were discussing isolation and the hows and whys of our withdrawing, and she pointed out something that has really caught my attention:
Sometimes we isolate ourselves, but sometimes, we push others into isolation. When Christians are in a “bad place,” we don’t always want to deal with them, so we push them away. We push them to isolation to work through their own “too hard, too negative, too draining” to deal with issues.
Transparency is what we ask for in the Church, but we have to decide if that’s what we really want. Do you really want to know someone, and are you prepared to love them no matter what comes out? We must be more careful in asking those around us to be transparent. If not handled responsibly, we risk shutting them down, sending them into isolation.
Walking alongside someone in a bad place is what we have to be about — Seeing them through a tough time and not rejecting them just because their bad time doesn’t make us feel good. I’m pretty sure I’m one step higher out of the pit because a good friend answered her phone in my bad place.