Recently, I was caught off guard in what proved to be a vulnerable interaction with a stranger. This woman probed into the shadows of my life, and her gentle demeanor duped me into trusting her. To be honest, I tend to trust most people in this regard, for the simple fact that I long to say my son’s name out loud.
At any rate, I quickly wished I hadn’t been so forthcoming as I watched this woman pout her lips, crumple her brow and exclaim loudly, “How sad!” Her tone dripped with patronizing interest. I scrambled to shield my heart in the likelihood of another disingenuous remark, but was assaulted one more time before I could escape.
“I’m sure it was just meant to be,” she declared in a sing-song voice before offering a half-smile and a piteous head shake.
I was too stunned to answer her directly and hid within the scarred caverns of my heart until she finally walked away. If I had a do-over, however, I think I might have said, “No, it wasn’t meant to be, but God HAS proven himself faithful.” Or maybe I would have just ripped her a new one… ” How could you possibly be so STUPID!?!? I hope you experience tremendous loss someday, just so you can know how awful you are!!”
I don’t want to play the victim – pick apart every well-meaning person who has the courage to say something. But I don’t often want to be an educator either, always explaining and defending grief issues. And I really, truly don’t want to be mean. So I feel mostly stuck… sometimes stuck? I don’t know.
I worry about venting too much on an issue like this. Mostly because, I don’t want to be difficult to love – I want to forgive thoughtlessness when it finds me – sift through it until I can uncover the love that’s usually hidden amongst the offerings. And love is always worth the pain, so please don’t walk on eggshells. Please don’t second guess yourself out of sharing your heart with me. I know not everyone can venture to the depths with me, I know. But please don’t let ME scare you away.
I’m not scary, I promise… just broken.