Think about your friends, relatives, acquaintances, colleagues and neighbors . . .
For two or three of them, life is difficult right now:
your neighbor prays to find employment again;
a colleague cries out to God about his loneliness;
your relatives pray yet again about their struggle with infertility.
As I write, the newly born granddaughter of close friends of ours lies critically ill. They are terribly frightened and deeply pained by her weakness and agony. They pray for the healing of the little girl.
But not all who pray and weep receive a reprieve. It seems that their prayers are not being answered. Nevertheless, my prayer for THEM is to discover that God is always there . . . embracing, caring, hurting, sustaining, and enabling. God’s presence helps the unacceptable become bearable.
So does your presence! This is where God needs your help.
A man, whose wife died after a long difficult illness, told me about an aggravating letter he had received. A Christian woman friend wrote, apologizing for her failing to show up to visit her dying friend. “It was,” she explained, “too upsetting.” She allowed her friend to die without the gift of her presence because she was unwilling to experience some discomfort. How sad! Her presence would have meant much to her friend; it would have meant much to the husband. Both would have felt the presence of God by her showing up, and that is so much more important than her own discomfort.
Remember that showing up is 90% of helping! Seldom do our words help much, so we don’t need to worry about what to say. Just show up!
Now, back to the list of people you know. Who can you call, write or drop in on?
God’s already there, but God depends on your support as well. Now conjure up courage and conviction, let yourself be uncomfortable, give some loving kindness. That’s God-like.