I want you to know that I see you there. I may be in and out of the room chatting you up as I busily tend to your sweet loved one, but please don’t think that I don’t notice. Or that I don’t feel what you’re going through.
Believe me … I feel it.
See, I’ve been you. I’ve sat on that couch before just like you are right now. I’ve spent hours sitting right there with friends and family all lined up beside me, all of us waiting. Waiting for good news. Or even for bad news.
Really … for just ANY news.
It’s a terrible couch, isn’t it? As comfortable as they try to make it be, however trendy the color and pattern of that vinyl, it’s just an awful, awful place to sit.
And an absolutely hideous place to have to be.
I’m so very sorry you’ve been called here to this place. Truly. This place of waiting. Wondering. Worrying. The place of endless questions and precious few answers.
This place where you stare out the window as your loved one finally, finally rests for a bit. Your mind slowly drifts away from their suffering as you look outside and remember that it’s not only their life that’s been put on hold right now, but yours as well.
I feel this for you.
You see the world continuing to spin outside this room as if nothing is even wrong. How can everything look so normal when the floor is being yanked from beneath you right now?
I feel you thinking this.
How can all those outside pressures just keep building and building as that couch continues to hold you hostage? All those daily responsibilities … they’re not stopping. I see you making all those phone calls, trying to juggle everything while you have a quiet moment.
I see this. I understand what this couch does to your life. And to you.
It changes everything.
As things insist on accumulating – as the pressures relentlessly build – that couch turns you into someone different than who you normally are.
It can make you watch every, single thing I do.
It can make you question my judgement.
Demand meticulous perfection.
It can even make you be overtly rude to me.
But that’s okay.
I know it’s not you, my friend.
It’s time spent on that couch.
That’s what it does to us.
But do you know what else time on that couch can do? It can make you open up to me. It can cause you to share little things about your loved one that encourages me, lifts me – compels me through my very long day.
It can also make you tell me about a song they used to sing to you when you were scared – that one we all remember singing in church. They had a way of singing it, you said – it used to make you feel happy … secure … confident that all is okay.
You tell me that you’re thinking about that song today while you’re waiting there on that couch. Waiting. Still just waiting.
Right after you told me that, my phone rang with another patient needing me. I left the room thinking that I would go back later and play for you the happy, uplifting version of that song that I have on my phone – it’s just a guy and his guitar spreading some simple joy around. I listen to it all the time and I knew it would be just what you needed that day.
Well, I’m ashamed to admit that I forgot to do it. I got busy and the rest of the afternoon flew by. I didn’t think about it again until I heard the song come up on my playlist a few days ago. I still can’t believe I forgot. I am so, so sorry.
Well … just in case you’re reading this today, my couch-sitting friend … I’ve included it here below. And to anyone else who may be waiting – on whatever “couch” you’ve been called to in this broken world – please give it a listen and be encouraged. Our God still reigns. No matter what.
Thanks for growing with me. ❤
“This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; his hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise, the morning light, the lily white, declare their maker’s praise. This is my Father’s world: he shines in all that’s fair; in the rustling grass I hear him pass; he speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!”
– Maltbie D. Babcock