simply nothing else …

watching or waitingI have been thinking a lot about how to receive and how to give. Today’s experience has caused me to do a little 180 turn and ask ‘what about when there is nothing to receive or give?’

Today I helped a 15 year old young person mark the anniversary of the death of one of their parents. This young person has no faith, did not mind whether I prayed or not and could not verbalise in any way how they were feeling. They did, however, ask to light a candle and have some ‘time’ while I read something from the BIble (I chose the first few verses of John 14).

The grief in the space was tangible, almost tastable, definitely intoxicating. The sadness was so heavy it moved me to tears. It felt like there was nothing either of us could give, and nothing either of us could receive in this desperately sad situation. The silence in the space was filled with ‘something’ that I have not experienced in such times before. It was like there was a hope, but a fear of realism. A desire for the words of John 14 to be true, but despair at a secular discrediting of those words.

As we sat in silence my mind moved to Mary. Were her feelings similar to this? Was there an expectation balanced against  a fear, a voice of realism suggesting that the miracle she had been told about would not, and could not, happen? Was there just an air pregnant with hope? But a resigned hope with the acknowledgment there was nothing she could do apart from wait?

Today we waited. In silence. Maybe we gave ourselves and received each other ….. a common humanity in hope … because there simply was nothing else there.


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