Imagine you are a 40 year old woman living in Africa. A 40 year old woman infected with HIV. A 40 year old woman with 6 children who are also all infected with HIV. A 40 year old woman who recently lost her husband, the sole provider of the family. A 40 year old woman who in a short period of time lost her property, her spouse, and her means of living. A 40 year old woman who is sick. A 40 year old woman who is tired. A 40 year old woman who is hungry. A 40 year old woman who most days cannot even feed her own children.
This woman has a name... her name is Mary.
As I sat in Mary's small home a couple of days ago, my heart broke. Through tears, she told us her story. Through tears, she choked out the details of her life. Through tears, she exposed her vulnerability and she admitted that she was not okay... that she was tired, she was hungry, and she was struggling.
As I looked into Mary's tear filled eyes, the only thought that went through my head was that there was absolutely nothing I could say to this woman to make things better. There were no amount of words within my vocabulary that would fix any of this. Nothing I had to tell her was going to heal things. All I had to offer her in that moment was my love.
So, I walked across the room, sat down beside Mary on the dirty floor, placed her hand in mine, and just cried with her.
I wont ever really be able to understand Mary's situation, but for the time being God allowed me to experience her pain. For the time being, God gently reminded me that sharing His love often involves sharing in the burdens of His people. God reminded me that we don't always need people to fix our problems, sometimes we just need people to scoop us up, to hold us, and to cry with us. Sometimes all we need is to be loved.