About waiting with someone. Sort of.

I have to talk with you about timing and about how timing matters when talking to grieving, questioning, hurting, waiting, wondering people.

But I don’t have my conversation all worked out yet.


You know how when someone is waiting for the lab report that will tell them whether or not they will die sooner rather than later?

And you want to say something because silence is so hard. And so you say, “God’s got this” because it seems encouraging and it fills the silence and it has God in it.

And now they are sadder, because they suddenly feel like they are failing two ways. One because they test could tell them that they are dying and so they are a little (or a lot) worried. Two because you have made being worried a test of whether they are spiritual and actually trust God.

Even though, of course, “God’s got this” is a pretty confusing thing.

What is the “this” that God has? It’s a vague word carrying inexact and unhelpful meaning. If by “this” we mean, “God will fix the test result or heal you or make you happy or fix the outcome or remove uncertainty in a way that feels really good like a Reader’s Digest story or Hallmark movie”, then we are promising more than God promises.

We also know that there are faith-filled people described in the Bible who wonder and hurt and lament and weep and worry.

So here is what I know.

God is.

And God is here.

And this waiting is hard.

And in the moment when I’m standing with someone, then I’m there, too.

Holding a hand, asking for peace, trying not to fill the silence so that God can.


What about the conversation about timing?

I’ll get there. Eventually.