It had been a surprisingly long duration since I had spoken to Jo. As you know she’s back in Sweden, and has been for some time. I grew concerned over the past several weeks and started to pester her, hoping for a response.
What I got, I wasn’t really ready for.
I few mornings ago, while I was still sick; she contacted me through my Skype program on my phone. She started talking about needing to talk to me, just needing something, and was trying to line up a time for me to actual be awake to communicate with her [seven hour time difference]. Finally, while coming back from my trip down south, I was able to chat with her a bit.
That’s when I learned that her cousin just passed away [close to her], her boyfriend left her [no comment], and she was completely alone, isolated, and really; without hope.
We talked for several hours, including me inquiring about why she hadn’t contacted me before. Here’s one of my closest friends, who had gone through who knows what with me and back again, and she’s just broken to pieces in a place that I can’t reach her except through digital communication.
I told my girlfriend about this [note: she is very, very full aware of the friendship I have with Jo, and very aware of the trials we have been through], and her concern was the same as mine; a hurting friend that we couldn’t reach.
Jo has been working on an e-mail for me, outlining everything that’s taken place over the past several weeks. I’m curious on the events and how they transpired.
I talked to Jo today while at work; she had just returned home from her coworkers funeral. She posed me a simple question, “What’s the meaning of this life?”
Simply; almost automatically I just replied with, “To praise God”.
This took us down a road that Jo and I hadn’t been on too often; Christianity.
Jo, from all accounts that I’m aware of, became a Christian when she moved to the States for college. A few mutual friends of ours guided her down that path. However, similar to myself; over the years we faded away from the truth, went into other styles of living, and overall; just lost touch with God. Add in a Swedish culture that itself tends to float more towards an atheistic/agnostic viewpoint and Jo is spiritually starving.
I spoke of myself and my girlfriend; the challenges we have, the changes we’ve made in our lives as individuals. The 180 degree turn around that my girlfriend made with her life, and the struggles that I faced and still face to this day. I was open and honest; brutally honest. Afterwards Jo just simply replied with, “I wish I could have that” [in reference to a romantic relationship that was built around a partnership striving towards the goal of praising God and not ones self]. She then got offline for the day.
My heart hurts tonight. I hate having such a close friend in such pain, being so confused, and no one there. As my girlfriend put it, “She just needs hugged”, to which I completely agree.
I understand the history of this site, and some things being stated on this site towards Jo and out friendship. I challenge you, all of you, to put your pride aside and try to understand her loneliness, isolation, and fear.
Can you too see the opening door?