Some people are so afraid to appear weak. You don’t hear them say, “I’m worried” or “I’m tired” or “I am desperate” when there is a real crisis. Oh, they say that all the time for non-reasons. But when there is a real situation in the offing, they want others to think ‘He’s taking it so well, he is so brave and capable.’

Right before me is someone who is terrified of what’s going to happen. Scared if his little world is on the verge of a collapse. Yes, he is capable and brilliant enough to rebuild it – and he has faithful hands to help him, people who would stand by him no matter what. Nevertheless he is anxious. So would we all, in his place.

But he refuses to acknowledge it. He keeps repeating, ‘I’m fine.’ I want to tell him it’s okay to be scared. Let your guard down for a moment. Relax. It doesn’t make you weak. Even if it does, the weakness would only lead to more strength and courage.

Maybe he doesn’t know how. So he continues to struggle with himself.

And we, some of his closest, wait silently, for we want to be there for him if he ever wants to lean on us.