The Suck Will Be Less…

The kid just kept screaming.
SCREAMING.
“But I Want It NOW!!!!”
I put on my Beats to cancel whatever noise I could cancel out.
Every few minutes I would gaze left to see his mom sipping on her iced cuban while the gray of the clouds outside the window silhouetted her portrait against the glass.
Probably late 20’s.
But her kid.
Holy crap.
A terror.
I could almost feel him lock his eyes on me.
“SCUSE ME. SCUSE ME!”
“Yea buddy?”
“What’s that? What’s that?” he was screaming pointing at my laptop.
His mom was 20 feet away oblivious that her 5 year old was bugging the crap out of me while I’m trying to close a consulting deal that I had been working on a few weeks.
“Um. Hey kid. I’m on the phone. It’s my laptop. Go back to your mommy now.”
He gave me a look that could stop Jack Bauer in his tracks and ran back to his mommy.
By the time I got off the phone I realized a few more of the customers in the coffee shop were getting annoyed.
OK Carlos. Time to do your job. Stand up for what is right.
I got up from my table and headed over to her table.
I was going to gently let her know that I have kids and I know how crazy it can get and he can play on my jacked up phone if it would shut him up, I mean calm his spirit…
About a foot away from her table I saw a dried streak of pain on her left cheek.
And another drop was rolling down her right one.
She saw me out of the corner of her eye and quickly snapped out of her trance…
“Hey! Oh. I’m sorry! Was he bothering you? I’m so sorry. I’m just a little out of it”

Humanity

“Honestly, I was about to come over here to tell you that your kid could play with my phone if he needed a distraction. I mean look at it. It’s unbreakable.”


She managed a smile.
“I’m not his mom. My sister is. Was. We are on our way to the airport. So I guess I’m his mom now. I mean, not his mom, but his aunt. Anyways.”
I almost said something really stupid.
Like “I’m sorry for you pain”.
Then I realized I don’t even know what the hell that means.
So instead I said…
“Wow. That sucks. Like really sucks.”

This prompted an outburst of laughter from her. And me.
“No shit. It does suck. That’s about as true as anything anyone has said to me this week. This does suck!”

She rejected my offer for my phone as it would have probably injured her nephew as opposed to occupying him.
She got up, not wanting to be a bother to anyone else in the shop, and started out the door.

“Hey, That Sucks lady.” I whispered, loudly…

“Yea?”Β  she didn’t whisper back to me…

“It will stop sucking one day. A long time from now. But the suck will be less”
We were deeply entrenched into a contest of how many times we could say suck only because it was a temporary cure for the pain.

“Jill? What does SUCK mean?” the kid said…
She laughed again and walked out the door.

When I got back to my laptop I realized what “my job” really is and how to “stand up for what is right”…
It is to make peoples life suck less at the moment.
I think that is all of our jobs.
Sometimes we think we need to stand for the many, when in fact we need to sit with the one.
It’s better that way.
Los

loswhit

Author loswhit

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  • PC

    Bro, this is the most beautiful thing I have read all day. This world is saturated with grace and love if we would just pay attention.

    Thank you!

    • Los

      I cried writing it. I’m such a jackass sometimes…

      • Carol

        I cried reading it. God uses even our own stupidity for good.

        • francine

          i cried too. thank you for the reminder, los.

  • Dude, that does suck. But you, however, do not.

    Keep doing what you’re doing.

  • Tears! Wow! Totally moved… Wow!

    • Los

      me too amiga.

  • milleti

    I periodically read your blog throughout the week. However, I am a follower of your tweets!

    Just wanted to say that I am appreciative of your work. I’m glad that I stopped by today… I loved your quote, “It is to make peoples like suck less at the moment.” As a guy who is in charge of Guest Services at a church in Illinois, I found that interesting. I never know who is walking through our doors next. But, I know they are looking for a church, a family, friends, fellow believers to make their life suck less…

    Thank again for being so transparent in your life and your journey with Christ. Keep it up brother!

    • Los

      Thanks milleti! And may I say, I love your name!

  • Katie

    I love this. You just never know what a person is going through, do you?

    • Los

      Never…ever…

  • You’re awesome man. Posts have been inspiring me since 2007. Thanks for what you do.

    • Los

      Whittle. Thanks for being a Ragamuffin OG

  • Grace. Undefiled grace. Thanks for sharing!

    • Los

      Thanks for reading Glenda!

  • Welfare: decreasing the suck.
    NASA: increasing the awesome.

    I guess we need both, huh?

    You do good things, Los. Thanks for sharing.

    • Los

      Brilliant. lol

  • Tracy Birkes

    Carlos, thank you for this. It is so refreshing…more than you know. I really miss authenticity after living in the bible belt for three years! We’ve always loved you. Hank and Tracy Birkes

    • Los

      Tracy. Bring it to the Bible Belt!!! Life is WAY too short!

  • Dude, thank you for sharing this. Heavy stuff. Didn’t expect the ninja move.

    • Los

      You know it. I’ve been hanging around a bunch of authors lately. Thought I would sweep the leg…

  • Love it Los, way to stand/sit with the one. Glad you were open enough to see the pain and meet her where she is. Isn’t amazing how little our bothers become when we see the wrecked lives of others.
    Thanks for walking the walk . . .
    – KC

    • Los

      Thanks for walking with me KC. And don’t think I moved past the fact that the only 2 KC’s that read my blog both commented at the same time… πŸ˜‰

  • kit hogan

    You are a great guy Carlos! I so enjoy your posts. Thanks.

    • Los

      Thanks Kit!!!

  • You are so right on track with this!

    When I talk about the disappointments of living life with pain, limitations and a deformed leg from injuries received in an accident … hearing responses of I’m sorry and I’m sorry for your pain are kinda natural. Those words don’t bother, but they also don’t do much for me.

    The nicest thing someone can say to me: That sucks.

    The most meaningless: I’ll pray for you.
    The most untruthful: I know how you feel.
    The most hurtful: You’re a better person now.
    The most disturbing: God causes everything to happen for a reason.

    And there’s more, but you get the point … Suck beats sorry every time!

    • Los

      Good to hear! And yes, that sucks but I’m glad you kicked it in it’s face

  • Val

    Wow! That moved me to tears. And took my out of my own suck today that is nothing compared to her suck. You just gave me perspective and took me out of myself and I truly thank you.

  • amy

    i balled. thanks for writing this. i needed this today.

    • Los

      me too. I thank her for helping it happen to me.

  • KristenEtzel

    This past week, especially today, has been so full of suck that I’m numb as to what to do next. I would love for someone to say what you said instead of telling me to have more faith, Pray harder, fast, “google relaxation techniques”, read XYZ book, etc. I just want someone to tell me that someday, it will all just suck less… And be empathetic to the amount of suck of today.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • adam

    Los,

    What a great reminder about not making assumptions and just being human.

    Glad there’s still dudes like you around.

  • Christianna

    Wow. What an amazing read that was! To me it shows how amazingly God can work through us when we let God work through our human hearts.

  • thanks for giving me the gobetweens and brains to say something real.

    I’ve been terrible at giving good responses to these sort of situations.

    This is a huge help in the right direction.

    Thanks!

  • I wonder how many times I’ve given some canned answer because I just don’t know what else to say. Nowadays I mostly just say I’m sorry and just tell them the truth–I really don’t know what to say. Incidentally, English is a 2nd language for my mom (she’s Japanese) and she often mutilates the English language in the most delightful ways. One of my favorites from her is one I’ve adopted as my own:

    “That is the Sucks.”

    Feel free to use it in the future…

  • Dru

    Bro, thanks! Keep the main thing the main thing. Can not think of a better response to a situation like that.

  • Lacey C.

    Thank. you. for. this.

  • Kelly

    I so needed that, cause it does suck for me right now and I needed to be reminded while the pain will never go away from the loss someday it will suck less

  • Leslie

    All of us go through days, weeks, months that really suck and many times people avoid us during this . . . . I’ve had that one person reach out to me when I thought I might break at any moment.

    I also believe that it is our job “to make peoples life suck less at the moment.”

    Thank you for the reminder.

  • wow.

    WOW.

    this was so gripping, so compelling… and strangely exactly what my heart needed.

    thanks, Los.

  • Pure grace. It’s not about us. Thank you for the reminder!!

  • POWERful!!! Thanx 4 sharing! Just shared a similiar story on my site called “Just Stay’

    http://www.empoweringchristianwomen.com/2011/09/just-stay.html

    Loved the last line, “Sometimes we think we need to stand for the many, when in fact we need to sit with the one.”

    Thanx Los!

  • Laura Miller

    Wow…talk about perspective…you never know when God will use you to make someone’s day suck a little less!! Keep on doing what you’re doing. God bless you man!!

  • Los, way to take the initiative and just be present with her. About a year ago a family member was going through a tough time and she kept saying to me, “I just wish someone would say, ‘I’m sorry, that sucks!'” Sometimes that’s exactly what we need…

  • Sarah

    Thanks. Thing suck for me now, but I actually feel better knowing that the suck will be less rather than trying to pretend that it doesn’t suck now, which is nonsensical. Thanks for sharing.

  • Completely brilliant! God has been saying the same thing to me recently. I’m glad to hear it come from other places.

  • Christina

    WOW that was an awesome post!! Life does suck sometimes.. and you showed her it can suck less even if it was just for a few minutes.

  • I am so task and solution oriented if left to my own devices – this is the second reminder this week that when people are hurting it is OK to allow them that instead of trying to hurry them out of their pain because it is uncomfortable for me. Nice job being led by the Spirit πŸ™‚

  • My business card says “That Sucks” The other side says “blogger for grief, cancer and other lighthearted subjects”. I write about the death of my husband, and the most REFRESHING thing anyone ever said to me was that it sucked. It did. Now it sucks less, but still, it sucks. Thank you for this, more people need to hear it!

  • Thanks for making my life suck less today.

  • erynne

    every so often i pop over to read something and today it was because a friend reposted on fb.

    we just lost our baby a couple of weeks ago (i was 18 weeks pregnant) and that’s probably about the best thing i could have read today. yes, it does suck, but it will suck less. it sucks a bit less everyday. if only people could be a bit more real with how they talk to others through suckiness – the would would be a much better place! thanks πŸ™‚

  • B.Rad

    That post, my friend, is so void of suck that it is suckless. Sometimes, we get it right. And it IS better that way.

  • Thank you for acknowledging her pain and not “fix”

  • Beautiful, bro.
    That’s church.

  • Being the church, Carlos. Love it.

  • dewde

    No offense to your musicianship, but this story aligns my spirit more than any song I’ve heard you sing.

  • Your a great writer Carlos.

  • Amy

    Wow. Just wow. Thank you for sharing this. This has been a period of great suckage for me and a lot of people in my circle. β€œIt will stop sucking one day. A long time from now. But the suck will be less” is what I needed to hear.
    Blessings to you and your family. And thank you again for sharing.

  • God’s good like that, hey?

  • Midge Edmond

    Wow! So great God didn’t allow you to be “religious”!
    Instead he led you to be real! That’s a hard act to follow!
    But Lord help me be real today!
    As usual great way to start my day!
    Thanks!

  • I think this fits for today, i got this in an email from John Eldredge.

    “The gift of presence is a rare and beautiful gift. To come unguarded, undistracted, and be fully present and fully engaged with the one whom we are with. Have you noticed in reading the Gospels that people enjoyed being around Jesus? They wanted to be near him – to share a meal, take a walk, have a lingering conversation. It was the gift of his presence. When you were with him, you felt he was offering you his heart. When we offer our unguarded presence, we live like Jesus. And we invite others to do the same. “

  • You have to love when God smacks you around like that. I’ve found myself in a few situations just like this. I guess it keeps me humble, but I wish I could learn to be more compassionate right from the start.

    Great post man.

  • Thanks for sharing that Los. I teared up too and made me think about how you just never know what someone is going through. I’m going to try and make sure I make someone’s life suck less today…

  • joy

    I don’t think I’ve ever read something so deep with the word “suck” in it. What a convicting reminder of what we may not realize is going on in someone’s insides.

    The crazy part? God knows what is going on on our insides, even when its just mean and ugly…and he has compassion on us ANYWAYS.

  • Lindsay

    This is the best thing I have seen all day! It brought tears to my eyes. Great job Los.

  • I hope some of my teenagers will read this today. Thank you for always being real, raw, and relevant. I seriously want to get you on our online teen talk radio show one Monday night SOON!!!!

  • We were in a tiny room in the hospital- a private waiting room where they lead families to tell them the news- after the nurse asked permission for the doctors to stop trying to revive my daddy- my sister’s mother-in-law said “this sucks!” It was the most real thing anyone could have said. Thank you for being willing to stand up, but not so hell bent on calming the kid that you overlooked the tears.

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  • mo

    the right thing to say is so rarely the first thing we want to say.

  • bryan

    I’ve been on both sides of that story at some time in my life and just wanted to say …bravo

  • Tracy Kase

    i’m way behind on my blogs, and was just reading them to catch up and when i read this one i started laughing. the timing is amazing. needed the reminder today. thanks friend.

    …the suck will be less.

  • I’m a nanny and see situations like this all the time. What a great reminder that everyone has their own stories, their own circumstances we don’t know about. What a great reminder for grace. Is our goal in life to accomplish things and behave well? Or is it to allow ourselves to be interrupted like Jesus was, in order to have moments with people that need moments.

    Thank you.

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  • Ruben

    I just found your site this morning after my sister shared a viral video of a homeless man that started singing along with you when you were filming. I’ve been reading your blog for the last hour and came across this story about “Making it SUCK Less…”. I think people are so hungry for compassionate honesty in todays world. You told her the absolute truth instead while still showing real compassion for her situation. Great story and a great reminder to me that it is ALL of our jobs to make it “SUCK Less” for each other.

  • Kate

    Wisdom. πŸ™‚

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  • Doesn’t suck and blow refer to some pretty explicit sexual activity?

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