Skip to main content

Sit and Be Present

"When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words."

Can anyone else relate to the quote above? I know I can. In the midst of some of my deepest, darkest storms, I have not been comforted with flowery words that I know have little substance behind them. No, what comforts me most when words seem inadequate is the still, quiet presence of other people beside me. It's those people, the ones that choose to stick by my side when life has never seemed so dark, who I know care deeply for me. I was reading Job 1-2 in the Bible today. In those chapters, Satan came to the Lord and asked permission to harm Job emotionally and then physically to try and get him to sin. The Lord grants permission but refuses to allow Satan to kill Job. Satan destroys his livestock and his children and covered Job in painful sores all over his body. And yet, he did not sin against God; he maintained his integrity. Towards the end of Job 2, his three friends came to Job to grieve with him-they "sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights" (Job 2:13). Words would do nothing. Trying to get Job up and at 'em would do nothing. Pushing him to talk about what happened would do nothing. They knew they needed to sit and bear Job's burden with him, weeping alongside him, grieving as if it were their own sorrows. Job was in the midst of the worst storm he had ever been in, and his friends came to offer initially nothing more than their silent presence.

Don't get me wrong, I love words. I am a big words person. I think they can be used effectively and have the power to dramatically help another person. I also think that other acts, like cooking meals, doing chores around the house, and giving small gifts can significantly help someone in the midst of a major life event. However, I am also a big believer in the power of just being with another person. When life gets hard, the first thing I tend to crave is another person to walk through the storm with me. I want authenticity and kindness and compassion. I want to know that someone loves me enough to drop what they are doing and simply offer their presence. God has made us for community, not just so that we can show others the kind of love God has for us and encourage each other in our faith, but also so that we can bear one another's burdens and hardships. Part of that means that we need to slow down enough to grieve with one another before taking action. We need to weep with one another and offer our quiet presence, without feeling awkward for lack of words or strange for not doing something to fix the situation. Trust me, I am aware of feeling like I need to have the exact right words to say when a friend is going through a really difficult time. However, I think God has been showing me that sometimes, words fail, and that's okay. Sometimes, we need to just sit and be with our struggling friends, not trying to jump into fixing things immediately. You have no idea how much it means to your friend when you voluntarily walk through the storm with them and choose to share their sorrow as much as you can. Who knows, you may be giving them just the love they need at that time. If you have a friend going through a storm, offer your presence. Even if you aren't physically in the same city as them, offer your time and allow them to share their heart with you if and only if they want someone to talk to. Most importantly, go forward asking God to lead you and consistently praying for your friend. God is good, and even when the road seems unclear, He is sovereign!

Comments

  1. What would you suggest if you're looking for community but you're having a hard time making any friendship that lasts? :(
    And if you like your church's services, but people are cliquey...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

CF Walk Letter 2018

Dear friends and family,
I hope this letter finds you doing well! My life looks pretty different this year from last year. In May, I graduated with my master’s in communication sciences and disorders. I started working as a speech-language pathologist in June for a company called SpeechCare, and in July, Eric and I got married. That was a very busy couple months! I love my job; I work mainly with adults with intellectual and/or social disabilities to help improve their communication skills. My clients bring me so much joy! I love being able to help them communicate better with others. Eric and I are also loving being married. Living with Cystic Fibrosis has taught us to never take the time we’re given for granted, and we are making sure we soak up all the moments we’re given and go on plenty of fun adventures. 
My health has been a bit of a struggle in the past few years. I had a round of IV antibiotics in May and then again in September and January. I will be starting IVs within the ne…

The day that was yesterday

Wow. What a day yesterday was. Here’s what happened:
At around 4:45, my hand became numb and tingly. Because I’m a knowledgeable SLP, my first thought was “oh my gosh I’m having a stroke”. Although the numbness was my first (and only) symptom, it was so bizarre how my hand just all of a sudden lost feeling in it. About 5-7 minutes into the numbness sensation, it started traveling up my arm and reached about midway up my forearm. Due to my history of a PE and being on Amicar (a blood clotter) right now because of a lung bleed, pretty much the only option was to go to the ER. I called CF clinic, and they confirmed that I should head over there. The ER is the most disgusting place, especially in the middle of cold and flu season. They also apparently have never heard of CF protocol because I had to demand to be put back in a room immediately and for everyone who came in my room to be gowned, masked, and gloved. From the beginning to the end of the 5 hour ER stay, it was pretty disastrous.…

Thankful in the hard times

With a disease like cystic fibrosis, it can be easy to get lost in all the pain, fear, and frustrations and lose sight of what we have to be thankful for. This year has been rough. I started the year with a blood clot, quickly followed by increasing worry about the state of health care in America, all while losing a significant amount of lung function and dealing with way too many lung bleeds. However, no matter how hard the year, I believe it’s always important to reflect on the many blessings we have been given. It’s too easy to wallow in self-pity and pain otherwise. So this post is dedicated to just that—thanking God for all He has given me. 
I’m thankful for... My new husband ❤️. As I’ve said before, many CFers wonder if they will ever find someone who will choose to love them day in and day out with all the stresses that come with cystic fibrosis. Being the spouse of someone with CF is not for the weak or faint of heart. My husband has taken a crash course in medical terms, health…