I just read the blog of a friend who had an incredibly bad day.
Really, a horrible day.
And I couldn’t help but think, “How did he keep going? How was he able to function?”
He explained that a bit. But I sat awestruck because it was obvious he was writing only the day after that momentous episode and was still feeling the physical, mental and emotional pain. His primary intention was not to elicit help, although, since he is a praying man I know that he had faith his friends would pray with him.
Instead, the outpouring of his story was the sincere and simple cry of one who understands the strength of a community.
He wanted answers to his questions about that bad day. He had some. Others still elude him. And the pause in his life that was enforced by the events of that day had allowed him to dwell on other burdens of life that threaten to bury him. He wondered how this much trouble could be piled in one place.
Yet . . .
“Yet” is becoming one of my favorite words. “Yet” is one of those words that seems to hold the promise of something better — a harbinger of hope. Its dictionary meanings mirror those of our standby favorites “but” and “however.” Yet, there is something about “yet” that stirs the heart, girds the loins, adds spring to our steps.
Yet my friend concluded his story with encouragement to his friends — his community — to hold fast. He said,
I understand that you can quit, give up, give in, give out, stop giving, surrender. That’s how you lose. You lose faith. You lose hope. You lose love for God, for others, for self, for life.
I could do that. You could do that. Anyone could, given enough stress points and the will to choose.
But it’s a zero-sum choice. If I give up on faith … on life … on God, well, as the Zack Mayo character in An Officer and a Gentleman so eloquently paraphrases Simon Peter:
“I GOT NOWHERE ELSE TO GO!”
I hope I remember that.
In essence, his message was that times are hard, he was struggling. But he reminded us we have so much more.
And with those words, he took his incredibly bad day, shared it with me, and encouraged me.
Yet, even in a place of torment, my friend lifted me.
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