pull up a chair

Heart aches are sometimes real.

I went to the hospital on Monday for a visit. A woman had felt chest pain and decided to follow up. So far, after tests, everything looks okay. However, medication was given which is part of everything being okay. Which means that everything wasn’t exactly okay.

I talked with her husband who had been sick a couple years ago. She finally talked him into going to the doctor. He had a problem which was much worse than expected. He was okay, but it took treatment.

I went to a funeral on Saturday for a friend who had been experiencing indigestion for several months. After she finally went to the doctor, she ended up with needing a bypass which came too late to help.

We want our aches to go away, to heal themselves. We think that there isn’t anything a doctor can do because we’ve tried doctors and they were all quacks. The problem is that sometimes there is something that actually needs to be worked on.

There are times that people don’t want to talk with me, or someone like me. There is an ache, a heart ache. They think that maybe it will go away, maybe it will heal itself, maybe it isn’t really there.  Or they think that there isn’t anything really inside, nothing that can really be addressed. (Or maybe that there isn’t really anything outside). And so, the chair stays empty, the coffee cup full.

Or sometimes, people talk with me like I talk with a doctor. Sometime I tell the doc what the symptoms are and then I take care of the diagnosis and then I decide what the prescription should be. And then I walk out.  And I’m feeling better because I can say I talked with the doctor, but nothing has changed. I haven’t taken anything…to heart.

But when I’m wanting to actually find out what is wrong,  I listen. I talk descriptively and then listen actively. I take the medication all the way to the end. I start walking. I pay attention to what I’m eating. Because I acknowledge to the doctor and to myself the possibility that there are things that I don’t understand, that I don’t know, that I’m not the expert on.

And sometimes it’s worth talking with someone who, though the words make no rational sense,  can suggest some answers for heart aches.


12 responses to “pull up a chair

  1. oh great
    i start the day crying
    okay mister
    i’m not reading your site anymore
    in the morning! 🙂

  2. okay, that’s fine Kat.

    and i’m almost never trying to make people cry.

    of course, if you could watch me as I write sometimes…..

  3. I have been listening and thinking about intercession, which is what I think you are talking about here and something that often bristles others when it comes to the Catholic church.
    Statements like: ‘I don’t need a priest for this or that’ ‘I can have my own relationship with God’. (We Catholics seem to be disproportionately the target on this one often).
    Where my thinking/praying have brought me at least right now, is that we need each other. We are called, not to individual relationship with God in the privacy and quietness of our own lives and hearts, but are called to relationship with Him through one another. The commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself”

    There is a part of this commandment of “Loving your neighbor as yourself” that is not only about service, but of allowing your neighbor the opportunity to participate in that same commandment to serve and perhaps, it is you they can serve.

  4. oh my.

    that relationship part of loving your neighbor, in allowing yourself to be loved by your neighbor…

    oh my.

    thank you friend.

  5. You’re welcome. But, thank your friend Connie too.

    “Why do we find it so much easier to give than to receive? True, it is “more blessed to give,” as the scripture says. But in order for there to be givers, there have to be recipients of their charity. When someone refuses to accept an act of charity, they deny the giver the blessing that accompanies the act.”

    You might remember a certain lenten blog through which much was offered, shared and learned. 🙂


  6. “And so, the chair stays empty, the coffee cup full.”

    one of my main weaknesses
    is that i always try to make sure i don’t take up someone’s time
    this is present in almost every interaction/conversation i have
    this has been tricky lately
    as i can’t do this solo

    i’m reading
    and thinking
    but not talking
    or sharing
    or asking

  7. what i know is this:

    everyone is different. and that is on purpose. some people are reserved which makes up for the people who aren’t. thus, it is a strength until it becomes a weakness.

    What i am learning too late in life is that there is value in asking and sharing and talking. And that the american ideal of independence isn’t. (But i’m running to catch up with the value of slowing down and connecting.)

    oh, and the value of coffee and comments and email.

  8. ouch ….
    (I can’t even bring myself to explain it as much as Kat did.)

  9. Beautiful Jon. Well said. Thanks for sharing from your heart!

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