jarvis lorry

What can I do for my friend? No man ever can have been more desirous in his heart to serve a friend, than I am to serve mine, if I knew how. … Pray discuss it with me; pray enable me to see it a little more clearly, and teach me how to be a little more useful.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Jarvis Lorry is like depression’s fairy godmother. I love him. He protests for pages and pages and for years and years that he knows and cares about nothing but his work, but despite having never cared for anyone in his whole life he befriends this damaged old man so deeply and so beautifully. He sees his friend relapse and for nine days forgets his work, sits by his side watching him make shoes and ever so gently reminding him that he’s not in prison anymore, not alone anymore, he’s free and safe and loved and why not come outside for a moment? But always with the gentlest touch to avoid adding to the strain and suffering he sees. When his friend finally surfaces again he doesn’t push, demand, or bully, and he chooses his words with the utmost care to avoid causing pain or distress. Never for a moment does he believe that his friend’s illness or relapse make him less reliable or less knowledgeable as to what he needs, just says, “Hey. I’m so glad to see you better. I don’t know anything about this or how to help you. Teach me.” He sees that a coping mechanism might be doing more harm than good, but he doesn’t push his opinions, only asks for instruction and confirmation and permission, never doubting that even though his friend may need his help, only he can know what is best for himself.