In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me. (v. 7)
When Beatrice moved to assisted living, her transition to the new setting was smooth. The one hiccup in her experience was her assigned dining room tablemate. Beatrice loves company and gets along well with others, but found it impossible to enjoy eating every meal with Carol. Her tablemate constantly complained about everything: the food, the staff, the weather, her family. When not complaining, she gossiped. Beatrice knew that Carol needed a friend, so she spent her first few months politely listening and trying to steer conversations in a positive direction. When that failed, she found the courage to tell Carol how distressing she found the continual complaints and gossip. Carol complained about her saying that.
Beatrice started dreading mealtime and getting depressed. She
finally requested a new tablemate. She still greets Carol with a smile
and a hello…on her way to the other side of the dining room. She
leaves the door open for friendship, but won’t let Carol drag her
spirit down in the process. “Misery loves company” is how Beatrice
summed up the situation. Those who stew in their misery try to
make those around them miserable as well. But, in her graceful way,
Beatrice acknowledges that everyone in misery does need company,
not only to spread their malcontent but to hopefully dissolve it.
The psalmist models the importance of calling on God for help
in hard times. We too should call on God, as well as friends, family,
clergy, professionals, and anyone else who can provide the company
that we need. We are healthier when we go through life with others.
Do I call on others as often as I really need them? When people come alongside me, do I demonstrate gratitude or grumbling?
God, point me to those who will be able to share the burden of my pain. Give me the privilege of sharing the load for others as well. Amen.