Sometimes there are no words. I'm a very verbal person and so it is rare that I find myself with nothing to say. Lately, however, I have come across many situations for which I have no words. At first it made me very uncomfortable - awkward silence is not my cup of tea - but now I'm coming to grips with the fact that sometimes there just aren't any words to say, and perhaps more importantly, my words are unnecessary.
My sick friend doesn't need me to tell her how sorry I am. She needs me to listen while she talks, to hold her hand and stroke her hair when the pain is bad. She doesn't need my words; she needs my presence and the love that I can show her without saying a word.
My friend was horribly betrayed by someone she loves. Again, she doesn't need my words. She needs me to hold her while she cries, to listen as she speaks, to laugh at her thin attempts at humor, to be there for her when the bottom dropped out of her world.
My words alone cannot fix anything. Maybe it's not so much that my words aren't correct, but that they aren't enough. Saying "I'm so sorry" seems empty at best. Maybe it's not about saying "I love you", but about demonstrating love, being the hands and feet of Christ. My words are only truly powerful when I'm on my knees praying for my friends.
There is a time to speak and a time to listen. There is a time for words and a time to act. I pray that God will help me to discern what is needed, and also help me to keep quiet so He can speak through me.