Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The power of "being there"

In preparation for my small group Bible study tonight, one of the passages of scripture I was reading was Job 2:11-13 and I was reminded of the power of simply being there for another person.  So many times in our lives we are faced with a situation where someone we care about is suffering and we just don't know what we can do to help them. 
  • Mark's wife left him
  • Mike's father is in hospice care and at the end of his life
  • Sarah's cancer has returned
  • Julia suffers a miscarriage
  • Michelle's grandmother dies unexpectedly
What can I do?  How can I help?  I don't have the answers, I can't fix the problem and I'm left feeling inadequate.  Maybe that's the time we look to see what Job's friends did when they learned that he was suffering.
They came to comfort and console but when they came face-to-face with him, they were overwhelmed and in verse 13, we're told that they simply sat with him for seven days and seven nights and no one spoke a single word.  That's the power of being there.

Maybe being there is not the only thing that you can can do but being there is a good first step.  Being there says, "I care about you and I care about your suffering."  Being there puts you in a position where God can use you in ways that you may not have imagined. 

Being there meant:
  • listening as Mark poured out his heart and begin wrestling with the reality of a crumbling marriage
  • staying with his father's body until the mortuary personnel came to pick it up so Mike could take his mom home
  • taking a hot meal to Sarah and Chuck so Chuck would have one less thing to do after working all day
  • mowing the grass at Ken & Julia's house while they were at the hospital because that's the only way that Jim knew how to say he was sorry for their loss
  • coming to the funeral home at the wake for her grandmother and knowing that in the midst of all the extended family and friends, Michelle knew we were there just for her

That's the power of being there.   

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