“Just” Listening

Last week at Art group, Jeremy (not his real name) came in and sat down. I noticed his hands over his face as he covered his tears. I asked him if he wanted to talk, and he opened up about several traumatic and heartbreaking things from his past as well as several issues that he’s still struggling with. I listened as he shared, and when he finished, I didn’t know what to say. I felt a little helpless, wishing there was something I could do. All I could say was, “I’m so sorry that you’ve been through all of that!” I also affirmed that its amazing he is where is he; that the steps he has taken are extraordinary!


Jeremy expressed how thankful he was to have Ottawa Innercity Ministries, the ICA program, the staff, and the volunteers as a support. He expressed that it was helpful just to talk about it and have someone listen. He admitted that sometimes he forgets or doesn’t realize fully just how far he has come, and that sometimes there are setbacks, but we keep moving forward.


I pray that many of you reading this will have opportunities to take the time to listen to our friends in need. Its okay if you don’t know what to say, and sometimes its better if you don’t say anything. Jeremy didn’t need my advice. He didn’t need me to tell him what to do. He just needed me to be there to listen empathetically with him.

~Jordan – Youth Program Coordinator



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