Over the Christmas Break, I attended Catholic Christian Outreach’s (CCO) Annual National conference Riseup. It was held in my hometown Ottawa. (If you are curious, here’s a little glimpse: http://youtu.be/HBBQC-f-oeA). The conference was great. In this post, I wish to share a particular experience, where I was reminded of the beauty in being there with a friend.
I needed some time to myself after the last session one of the days so I found a spot to sit in the hotel far from the big crowds. I thought I would feel better if I just sat alone to recharge. The Lord knew my heart, however, and knew what I actually needed. After sometime of sitting alone, looking through/scribbling in my journal, a dear friend of mine, whom I rarely get the chance to speak to one on one, just happened to be walking by. He sat next to me and asked with sincerity how I was doing. I knew I couldn’t give him a vague answer, so I shared truthfully, in complete honesty. I was astounded at how patient he was with me. For those who do know me, speaking is so difficult for me, so it meant so much to me, that my friend didn’t rush me, and that he simply looked at me, waiting with compassion. He didn’t speak much, but simply listened to what I was trying so hard to vocalize. Speaking with this friend was as though it was Christ who came to comfort me.
He left after a short while. Though I wished I could have talked or just have been with this friend for a while longer, the Lord enabled me to remember that he has blessed me with precious friendships like this one. This circumstance turned out to be an encouragement too, because a lot of my friends and acquaintances have told me how much they appreciate when I listen to them, or how comforting it is when I simply sit with them. I had not ever experienced this form of comfort myself so it was hard, in a sense, to know whether I was fulfilling my role as a good friend, through my “inaction”. Now I understand how important it is for certain friends, at least, that I simply take time to be with them, even if I don’t speak. I was reminded to be more intentional.