Concrete Jungle Picture

 

The other day, a friend said she was going to a therapist because she was feeling stressed and depressed. When she told her boyfriend about it, he said, “okay,” and started to talk about how his day had been.

She was annoyed, as she felt that he should have asked, “What’s going on, honey?  Can I do anything to make it better?”

But oftentimes, when men and women talk about a problem, we’re not even speaking the same language.

We’re talking about emotions. They’re thinking about solutions.

In a way, I told my friend, you should take it as a compliment. You told him there’s an issue, and he’s assuming you can handle it, so he’s respecting your ability to deal with it and tackle it head on. He knows that if you need him to do more, you’ll tell him.

But we don’t usually do that. As women, we think, you should know how I feel. You should provide the emotional support that anyone with a heart would know is needed right now. As men, they think, I’m not a mind reader and I won’t do you the disservice of assuming you can’t address your own issues. If you need something else from me, I’ll count on you to put it into words and tell me.

Maybe men really are from Mars, and women from Venus! Sometimes it seems we can’t hear each other at all.

I’m grateful that this language barrier doesn’t apply to our prayers. God not only understands all languages, he can interpret your silence as well. He knows what’s on the heart even if you say nothing at all. He also knows that if you say so much that you’re out of breath, you might be missing the point of grace.

Last night, I prayed in such great detail about what I hoped for my son’s life that I realized something. I can’t ask God to give Cole a customized life according to MY specifications. I have to let that idea go. Sure, I’d like to live in a small town by a lake, but my son would be just as happy in the concrete jungle sitting by the Hudson River. I’d like him to go to college near home, but he’d probably like to branch out on his own out of state and have some independence.

I decided to pray for a life that made him smile every day and sleep like a baby every night. It’s not perfect, but Providence is. So I’ll let my son – and our Silent Partner – fill in the blanks together.

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