It’s tempting to avoid someone when their world is dark.
It’s uncomfortable to choose to enter their pain. But Jesus has called us to walk beside the suffering, to encourage the disheartened and to lift up the ones who stumble.
There are no magic words to erase heartache.
And isn’t that why Jesus came?
Read the rest here: The Power of Presence
I have so much more empathy for older folks since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
I’ve always tried to be a patient listener when hearing that same story over and over and over but have to admit that sometimes I’d drift off or internally mock an elder because I was tired of hearing it.
Because I understand now that it’s in the telling that one both commemorates and honors people as well as the past.
Read the rest here: I Need To Tell The Story (Even If You’ve Heard It Before)
We all know how it is-you move, you lose an address or phone number, you lose touch.
But sometimes friendships end more abruptly-not because lives drifted apart but because one person became so uncomfortable she chose to walk the other way.
That’s what happens so often the other side of child loss. Friends disappear because loss makes them profoundly uncomfortable.
Read the rest here: HELP WANTED: Why Grievers Need Faithful Friends
When someone invites you in and serves up her deepest pain along with the coffee it might feel like a trap or a burden or a bother.
But it’s actually an act of great respect and trust.
Read the rest here: A Sacred Privilege
I have learned so much since that day when Dominic left us suddenly for Heaven.
Some of the things I know now are things I wish I didn’t know at all.
Many serve me well-not only in how I respond to my own pain and loss-but also how I respond to the pain and loss in the lives of those I love.
Read the rest here: So What SHOULD I Say or Do For My Grieving Friends or Family?
Some people’s passions lead them to headline making, world changing careers.
Most of us spend our days in smaller ways.
And we often feel like our tiny efforts create barely a ripple in the giant ocean of human experience.
But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect to make a difference in someone’s life.
All you have to do is care.
Read the rest here: Making a Difference is Easier Than You Think
Some people are natural servants.
Not the kind in Downtown Abbey but the kind who see something that needs doing and just do it.
They open doors, return shopping carts, wash dishes, pick up trash and bend down or stretch high to help children or senior citizens reach what otherwise would be unreachable.
Some of us aren’t naturals but we can learn.
Because when we open our eyes to those around us and choose to be helpful we make a change to our hearts and theirs. We build bridges of grace and kindness that help to connect individuals and communities.
When a person feels seen, heard and cared for, they are much more likely to drop the drawbridge to their heart.
It’s no good saying, “Well, he didn’t ask for help” or “She didn’t let me know she was struggling”.
If we are paying as much attention to our friends and family as we are to social media memes and funny TikTok videos, we can’t miss the signs of desperation and hopelessness.
If we take time to ask important questions there’s no way we won’t hear sadness or loneliness in the reply.
So let’s stop acting like doing good is something only a few select individuals can or should do. It’s a myth that bringing meals and checking in on those who are no longer able to make it to our fellowships or church services or bingo halls is a special skill.
Compassion isn’t a calling or a gift or a virtue.
Compassion is something we choose to practice.
And for those of us who call Christ “Lord” it is a command.
I’ve done it myself.
Jumped right in with all kinds of suggestions designed to “fix” someone else’s problem.
Or worse, heaped my own experience with something more or less (often less) similar onto an already overburdened heart.
Read the rest here: Hardly The Time For Being Taught
If you’ve never been caught short in the midst of an unexpected downpour you might not know how important refuge under the boughs of a cedar or oak tree can be.
Living in the middle of woods, punctuated by open pastures, I’ve retreated more than once to the safety of thick boughs which limit the rain’s ability to soak me through.
I have memorized every safe haven between the road and the middle of my 34 acres.
Faithful friends are like those sheltering trees-offering respite to a weary heart, providing a safe space to take a breath, granting protection when we are pursued by the enemy of our souls.
Read the rest here: We All Need Sheltering Trees
Alone is good for many things. It makes space to hear from God and to hear one’s own heart.
It can be a respite from the noise of our crazy, busy and LOUD world.
But alone is not the best way to walk the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Read the rest here: To The Ones Who Walk With Me: Thank You ❤