My son, Titus, has been in a cast for a little over two weeks. He recently got an x-ray and a report that his leg shifted in the cast and that his recovery hasn’t been going as well as hoped. The doctor told us we are back to square one…pretty much treat him as though he just broke his leg yesterday. Wonderful news…right.
Certainly he was enjoying all of the attention that he was getting at first. Lots of TV time…lots of snacks…lots of people looking at and writing on his cast. He was a pretty big deal, or at least he thought he was. But I’ve noticed something in the process. As he is sitting on the couch or his little rocking chair trapped in this little prison of immobility he has become extremely lonely. There will be moments throughout the day when we will go into the kitchen for a moment or down the hall and we will hear a little 3 year old voice holler from the living room, “I DON’T WANT TO BE IN HERE ALL ALONE!”
Our little man who used to sleep so well through the night is now constantly crying out and when we ask him what is wrong he always says, “I want you to rest with me.” He doesn’t want a drink, he doesn’t want to get up, he doesn’t want to play…all he wants is someone to be close to him. In dealing with the broken leg it isn’t the pain, he is a super tough kid, or the pent up energy that is causing him the most frustration. It is the loneliness.
I was reading in Job and most everyone knows the story. Job had everything and God allowed Satan to test him, and in a matter of hours Job lost everything. Job worshipped God in the process. Satan then was allowed to attack his heal…and we get this imagine of a poor, despondent, pitiful little man curled up in a corner picking at the open wounds that covered his entire body. His wife wasn’t a whole lot of help…she encouraged him to curse God and die. Then we have the three crazy friends who show up on the scene.
And certainly you know if you have read the entire book these friends weren’t much help either. But they don’t very often get the credit that they deserve…at least early on in the process.
Job 2:13 And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was great.
Did you catch what they did? For an entire week, day and night, these friends sat with Job. They didn’t say a word…they were just there. I would imagine that through all of his pain and loss it wasn’t the financial and relational ruin or even the open sores that ripped at his flesh that caused the most pain. I wonder if it was the isolation and the loneliness that was hardest to deal with.
Perhaps there is someone you know of that is going through a hard time. Maybe you are thinking that there is something that you would like to do but you just don’t know where to start or what to say. Perhaps we can take a lesson from Job’s three friends, and it might not require us to say anything at all. In fact it might be better if we didn’t…
I bet if you listen closely enough, you can hear someone you love screaming, “I DON’T WANT TO BE IN HERE ALL ALONE!” You’re not going to let them sit in there all alone are you?