The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares. Henri Nouwen

Meditation: When I was growing up my father was called to a family whose father went through such difficult time of depression and anxiety that all he could do was lock himself in his room and never come out. Even his family members were not allowed into his space, as he was so scared and in a dark place. They would just bring him food and leave it at his door, just like a prisoner. The family in their time of need called my father who was their pastor. My father would visit daily and sit on the other side of the door. Not much was spoken. My father prayed for the man after long times of silence, and he prayed for him after he left. All the man knew was that my father was there and that he would come back the next day. After a few weeks the man agreed to get help. He was seen by a doctor and received medication for his depression and anxiety. Eventually he was able to leave his room. I never forgot how my father handled this very difficult situation.

Prayer: God of patience, You know the dark nights of our soul, our prison cells, our slimy pits, the mud and mire we are covered with. You know our anxieties and our isolation. When we cry out for help, You hear us. You turn toward us. You send us Your messengers who care. You wait patiently. You lift us out of our dark night of the soul when we are ready. You give us a firm place to stand again. And we are grateful. Amen

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40: 1-2

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