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Don't Just Do Something . . . Stand There!

My title may strike you as a little puzzling. We typically view the thought of 'just standing there' as not being helpful, not being effective, not being efficient. We CAN'T just stand around; we've got to be doing something. Right?

But when we learn to be better at showing kindness, at helping people that are hurting, at offering care to those who need it, we find out that our presence is more important than anything we do or say. So . . .

JUST BE THERE!! We must think of every human being as 'the walking wounded' . . . we are not to think of how we must fix them. We are helping when we greet a stranger, or when we show up in a hospital room. But we leave the fixing to God.

It is enough to stand there in love. We do not have to do much more than that.

God surrounds us with His Presence. God is healing us every moment. And that is where we must be. Present! With people! We greet them. We touch them. We smile at them, listen to them, walk with them. We weep with those who weep. But there is STILL a little more we can do, while we leave the fixing to God, and that is in some words that we can offer.

In a Peanuts cartoon, Charlie Brown asks Lucy: "Do pretty girls know they are pretty?"

Says Lucy: "Only if somebody tells them,"

Lucy's answer is a metaphor about life in general. A compliment to a pretty girl makes HER even prettier. Kind words are like vitamins. They nourish the spirit. A nourished spirit makes the body healthier and inspires persons to their own good deeds. You can offer kind words! Not words that attempt to 'fix'; just gentle thoughtful kindness.

We can encourage people; we can appreciate them; we can inspire them with loving words and smiles and compliments and general friendliness. But we must leave the fixing to God.

That is what I mean by Just Stand There. You don't have to solve anything. You don't have to try to fix them or their mood or their situation. Just stand there. Just BE there. Just offer your presence!


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