When someone is in crisis, often our first response is to spring into action–doing something, anything, and we’re often frustrated by our inability to make the pain go away despite our frantic efforts.
But sometimes, the most helpful, soul-nourishing thing we can do for someone in crisis, is to “hold space” for them. “to,” according to Rachel Held Evans, “simply sit with someone in their grief or pain, without judgment or solutions, and remain present and attentive no matter the outcome.”
It’s not our first inclination…because “just sitting” is not our typical MO.
We don’t like suffering. It’s sad and hard and not fair and we’re super-uncomfortable with doing what appears to be nothing to avoid it. Most of us are wired to want to fix life when it’s broken and behaving badly.
You undoubtedly know someone who is suffering this minute.
And you might know that the “adventure” of holding space for this person could involve some awkwardness…
Because though sometimes you can actually fix it, and sometimes you can make it better, often there’s nothing you can do except sit with each other in the middle of it–and look around for God.
But here’s the remarkable thing about that: If you sit around together and search long enough, you’ll most likely find Him.
Notes: Evans, Rachel Held. Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water and Loving the Bible Again. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2018.