They Sat Together…

Recently I saw a new angle in a verse from the book of Job.

I used to think that Job’s friends were not very empathetic and did not know how to relate to him and his tragedies.  Now I see a new perspective.  In the beginning of the story, Job’s friends actually sat with him for one week not saying anything.

“Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was”. Job 2:13

Just being with him. Not giving advice… Not criticizing…They showed up.

We might ask, “Didn’t they know what to say?”

Perhaps they should have kept their mouths shut!  Just being with someone in a crisis is a powerful healing tool.  Maybe that’s what gave Job the capacity to actually listen to their human faulty words and to seek God and to feel and express himself even though he was self-righteous and defensive with his friends’ accusatory tendencies.  In the long run, Job understands that God is good and that even though there is pain, the Lord is our redeemer and He is mighty and knows more than anyone or anything here on earth.  And let’s face it, his friends were present.  They showed up.

The joy and healing of connection
There is something to learn about our human interactions and about exposing ourselves to others.  Yes, we can be hurt if we vulnerably expose ourselves to others, but if we don’t we may not experience the joy of human empathy, comfort and connection.

The power of being present
We can learn about comfort and how “just being with someone” can prove powerful and show commitment.  Being present gives margin so mistakes are not always devastating to the relationship.  Grace flows freely to the friend who shows they care…who keeps in touch and is present in times of need.  We can forgive awkward moments and soak in the comfort the Holy Spirit brings to us through them…but only if they are present.

Be Present Today


Proverbs 10:19

When there are many words, sin is unavoidable,  but the one who controls his lips is wise”. 


In times of deep grief and pain there may be no words or few words…  It’s OK if we don’t know what to say.  Healing and comfort will come with:

More Time

Less advice

More listening

Less judgment

More affirming

I want to be a present friend – able to lend a listening ear, a comforting word and a shoulder for tears.  I’m thankful for friends that tell me the truth even when it hurts and am thankful friendship’s treasure is present in my distress.

Are you longing for deeper more meaningful human connections? 

Prayers for the bravery to walk deeply into the waters of friendship…-Madge

Friendship for Grown-ups Review

In her book, Friendship for Grownups, author Lisa Whelchel honestly shares about the facade she wore for decades in her girlfriend relationships. Oh, she had lots of ‘friends’ but no deep friendships she truly trusted. Ironically she starred in a hit sitcom about friendships when she was merely a teenager (The Facts of Life). Adapting herself to an independent life while juggling the busyness of motherhood and a writing career allowed her to become somewhat transparent with others but never vulnerable or willing to develop intimate relationships.

She unfolds her journey to deeper adult friendships as well as lessons she learned along the way through personal experiences illustrated in her writing and the book:

  • Addresses handling conflict and finding ‘safe’ friends
  • Includes great tips for developing safe friendships.
  • Provides insightful discussion questions for groups
  • Provides exercises to personally apply lessons and develop closer friendships
  • Is appropriate for individuals, group studies or one-on-one studies

Lisa also gives pages of insightful conversation prompts that can be used to cultivate closer friendships.

I’ve gone through this book with a group of women and am currently discussing it with a longtime acquaintance who has now become a trustworthy close friend due in part to this book. It is an easy read and it could be on your list for a light-hearted, yet risk-taking, approach to growing greater depth in your friendships.  I’m glad to be on a new journey in friendships even though it takes more courage than I’d imagined.

“Friendship is about risk. Love is about risk. If we can control it and manage it and manufacture it, then it’s something else. But if it’s really love, really friendship, it is a little scary around the edges”. – Lisa Whelchel, Friendship for Grown-Ups (p. 142)


An Open Door

Yesterday afternoon when Tahoe and I returned home from a class, we headed through the garage entry to the kitchen.  ‘Yikes’, I thought, as I realized that, ‘Houston, we have a problem!’  The bi-fold doors to the laundry room were ajar and one of them obstructed the garage door from swinging fully open. Let’s not discuss the flawed architectural design of these two passages…they are what the are…barring an expensive renovation.

Previously, on more than one occasion, this situation created a broken laundry room door, and I was keenly aware that there was potential damage and destruction on the other side of this pathway. If I gently push through the doorway I might have a chance to protect and salvage the laundry entrance.   ‘Be careful. Ease through the door with caution,’ I thought.  For a moment, I was tempted to get upset because the laundry room doors had not been closed…um…again. Hmmm.  ‘Who can I blame?’  I was irritated.  But, as I squeezed through the garage door (as if a wheelchair can squeeeeeze through anywhere) to minimize damage, I reasoned, ‘It’s only a door. It can be fixed.  I’d like new laundry doors anyway!’  Victory over the blame game is oh so sweet.

I ignored the damaged door and gave Tahoe a break and some playtime, worked on emails, ate a bite and made a few calls.  Then I headed back to the door to inspect the casualty. Fortunately, it was merely knocked off it’s track and was easy to maneuver out of harm’s way until my hero engineer husband came home and repaired the minor mishap.


I like closed doors.  I really like closed doors.

Closed doors are clean and attractive.

Closed doors give privacy.

Closed doors hide the chaos behind them.

In our house, it’s my ongoing adventure to ‘control’ the disorder even if it’s behind a closed door.  Let’s straighten, organize and label!  Let’s make everything tidy and neat, and if there’s not enough time to thoroughly clean, let’s stuff the disorder in a drawer or behind a door and close it so the house ‘appears’ spick-and-span .  I have amazing helpers to ‘physically’ organize – you don’t want that job, do you?

This year has challenged me to move beyond my ‘closed door compulsion’ to ‘open new doors’, particularly in the area of friendships…to move from control and closed  to open and intentional.   I’ve recognized that as I tread toward more transparency and vulnerability, I’m able to relinguish myself and encourage with greater passion and effectiveness.  It’s made me a better friend.

Closed doors are a barrier.

Closed doors exclude.

Open doors invite.

Open doors allow exposed messes.

Open doors create opportunities.

There’s no doubt that closed doors protect.  Protection and safety are good things to a point – there are seasons and occasions to keep doors closed.  But there are also times to wrangle our tendencies toward risk-aversion and self-protection so they don’t cost us the intangible riches of fully living and giving.

I admire those who seem to have a knack for outward focused openness.  God’s helping me learn to navigate new ‘open doors’ with wisdom and trust – as well as respect for the person He made me to be.  It’s scary and exciting!

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
Proverbs 4:6

Is the balance between trust and protection a challenge for you?  Would love your insights. Leave a reply or if you prefer a little more privacy, I get it…feel free to email me.