I was getting ready to leave the restaurant after a birthday dinner for a friend. I stopped off at the ladies' room for a quick moment before heading out the door. A lady came out of one of the stalls. Looking in the mirror she said "I'm such a mess today". Jokingly I commented on my own "mess" and told her we should just blame it on today's rain. I hadn't picked up on her emotional state until she turned to me and said she buried a friend today. She was a bit distraught. WOH!
A moment of awkwardness.
What do I say? What do I do? How should I react? I don't know this woman. But I had a greater sense (a God moment, perhaps) that I should just be still for this woman. Simply just be. So I stood there and I listened to her as she began to tell me a little bit about this man who passed away and how he had always been kind to her. It was difficult to follow what she was saying, it was as if she was just talking aloud and I was there. So she continued and I listened. Tears rolled down her face. She appeared numb and she said she had no idea how she was going to live the rest of her life with this burden. I didn't understand what that burden was but clearly she had a history with the person and some of her story expressed drama. She shared with me that she'd been in an abusive relationship previously and then something about this man who died. Her story wasn't clear to me but it was clearly to me her heart was conflicted and broken.
Oh, what I wanted to say. Oh, what I didn't have the courage to say. Oh, what I wasn't sure to say. I wanted to give her a hug. I wanted to tell her about Him. I told her it's so difficult to lose someone we care about and I'm so sorry to hear of her loss.
I gently gave her a shoulder pat (pseudo hug, right?) and expressed my condolences again.
She asked me what my name was and I asked for hers. Her name was Louisa.
A human moment, a God moment, a shared moment. All I could do was express kindness and listen.
Louisa, you are in my prayers tonight. Only One can heal your broken heart.