* I don't need to know what you would do if you were me.
* I don't need you to tell me I "shouldn't feel that way."
* I don't need you to invite me to your church or Bible study.
* I don't need you to quote Scripture to me.
* I don't need you to blow me off with an, "I'll pray for you."
* I don't need you to fix my problems.
* I don't need you to judge my actions or question my motives.
* I don't need you to tell me not to be so sensitive.
* I don't need you to remind me that other people are much worse off than I am.
* I don't need you to tell me to "let bygones be bygones," to "pick (my)self up by the bootstraps," or to "just get over it."
I just need someone to listen.
You may not know it, but when you listen--truly listen--to what is on my heart, you give me value. You make me feel that I matter; that I am deserving of your full attention; that I am worthy of your time. When you listen, I not only feel understood, I feel accepted. And then I don't feel so alone.
That's why I love my Jesus so much. He lets me say what's on my mind. He welcomes me to be completely open with Him. I don't have to wonder if He really cares. I don't have to be afraid that He is going to condemn me for feeling what I feel. I don't have to worry that I'm imposing on His time; He gently reminds me that He--quite literally--has all the time in the world for me.
Jesus doesn't tell me I need to be strong, He lends me His strength. He doesn't question the depth of my faith, He is honored that I have enough to keep reaching out to Him. He doesn't quote Scripture verses to me about His love, He embraces me with it.
Whenever I need someone to listen, I can say with the Psalmist, You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed... (Psalm 10:17-18a, NIV)
If only more people would listen like He does...