"Walk w/ Me"....
I have a problem. I want to tell you about it. No, I really don’t. I’d rather keep it to myself- handle it alone. I do think it would be good for me to share it with you, though. But I don’t want to, because I’m afraid of what you’ll say and of how you’ll act.
I’m afraid you might feel sorry for me in a way that makes me feel pathetic. Like I’m some “poor thing.”
I’m afraid you’ll try to cheer me up. That you will give me words, or texts or prayers that tell me in a subtle way to stop feeling bad. If you do that I’ll feel worse (but hide it behind my obedient, cheerful smile). I’ll feel you don’t understand. I’ll feel that you are making light of my problem because you believe it can be brushed away with some brief words of cheer.
I’m afraid you’ll give me an answer. I’ve been wrestling with this problem for some time now. I have thought endless thoughts about it. Can you answer in half-minutes what I’ve struggled with for weeks?
Don’t belittle me.
I’m so afraid you might ignore my problem, talk quickly about other things, or tell me of your own problems.
I’m afraid too, that you might see me stronger than I do- not need you to listen and care. (It’s true I can get along alone, but shouldn’t.)
What I’d really like is if you would “just walk with me.” Listen as I begin in some blundering, clumsy way to break through my fearfulness of being exposed as weak. Hold my hand and pull me gently as I falter and begin to draw back, Say a word, make a motion or a sound that says, “I’m with you.” If you’ve been where I am tell me how you felt in a way that I can know you’re trying to walk with me.
Walk with me- don’t change me.
But I’m afraid. . . you’ll think I’m too weak to deserve respect and responsibility. . . you’ll explain what’s happening to me with labels and interpretation. . . or you’ll ask me, “What ya going to do about it?”
Please. Just walk with me. All those other things seem so much brighter and sharper- smarter and expert.
But what really takes love is to just walk with me. (taken from Being Withby Visser and Kok 1976)