I have a friend who’s dying

I have a friend who’s dying.

I need a new pair of shoes. Both shoes have holes at the toe. I truly need a new pair. For women, shoes are not just about the fit, but about the look. I still haven’t found the right pair. The other day, while I was looking, I realized my friend would never go shopping for shoes again. And I was envious. That was what startled me. I realized so much of what I do has little consequence. What is the eternal that I can do today?

I have a friend who’s dying.

As I enter further into her experience I recognize the only thing I have to give is my presence. There is no fixing, there is no healing, there is simply being. Just keep showing up, as being is the supreme offering. As I am being I am learning that there can be great pain beneath what seems a neat and tidy life. Dying unveils layers that have been hidden for years. Suddenly hearts disclose emotions that can no longer be held back, but demand to flow forth. And in doing so, deep pain is laid bare.

I have a friend who’s dying.

She has become my teacher. I am learning suffering is the school of compassion. And compassion must be learned to deeply love. One cannot be like Christ without it. So not only must we suffer ourselves, but we must be a part of the suffering of others. It is an experience that is to be shared. For it is in the sharing that Christ’s community is formed.

I have a friend who’s dying.

And I am grieving my loss and rejoicing her gain.

I have a friend who’s dying.