I beg you to take total ownership of every room you sit in, or enter. I beg you to take leadership in noticing who is there and intentionally approaching whoever might possibly be alone. I implore you to endeavor (in some faulty, trembling, inarticulate way, if necessary) to include them and bring them IN.
Whenever I walk across the room, (introvert that I may be) and welcome a stranger, (as ineptly as I may do it), and even though it is uncomfortable for me, there is something profound that happens between us. I am giving of myself (by being willing to do something that is a bit hard for me) to that stranger. And he or she is blessed by being noticed,
acknowledged, offered my gift. So many times, you can see visibile signs that the person has been affected in a very positive way by my doing that.
Many of you have seen the powerful movie, The Passion of Christ. What a comfort-shattering experience that is!! Jesus suffered unbelievably on that dreadful day. His physical suffering was far beyond anything the he wants from us, but he calls us to suffer a bit, too . . . for his sake. He insists that we, too, give of ourselves for the sake of others. We are called to leave our comfort zones and dare to get hurt, if necessary, while trying to bring healing to others.
That is the key that I desperately want to impress upon you . . . leaving our comfort zones to do an act of kindness for other people blesses both you and them. And sometimes, just 'being with' someone is that act of kindness that they need. Standing, sitting, walking with a person may be much of what they want . . . no words may be required.
A caution: Though we must think of every human being as ‘the walking wounded’, our task is not to fix them. Fixing is underway when we greet a stranger, or lift the spirits of anyone. We must seek to be supportive without needing to solve their problem. We leave the deliberate fixing to God.
So! . . . JUST BE THERE!! I like this play on words: ‘Don’t just do something. Stand there.’