The ministry of PRESENCE.

The 'ministry of presence' is becoming one of my favorite things because - the older I get the more I understand that when I sit across from a broken and hurting person ... I cannot solve anything. I cannot fix the situation. I cannot promise they will get what they want. Words are not adequate to offer consolation or comfort.
I often find that I literally have nothing to offer -
except myself.

I can hold a hand.
Cry with someone.

And often – that is all they want.

They know we cannot make everything better, change anything, or make it all go away.
They just want to know someone CARES.
That someone loves them.
As they are.
In that moment.

Believing someone loves us, and hurts because we hurt, far exceeds their ability to understand the details of our pain.

It is impossible to know, understand, and identify with every person's personal trial unless we have walked through that same darkness. And even if we have, the details and the responses look different.

We do not have to "get it" all the time.
We do not need to know what to say.
We do not need to be comfortable.
We just need to be THERE.
Side by side.
Shoulder to shoulder.
As long as they need us.

When someone is grieving and in the depths of despair, the pit is cold, dark, lonely and deep.
Someone needs to bring LIGHT to brighten the darkness.
And then - climb down into the pit, take her hand, sit down next to her, and say, "I'm so sorry. I'm here. And I'm not going anywhere." 

It took me a long time to learn this. Too long.
I always thought I had to have the perfect words, brilliant spiritual thoughts, and answers in order to be an effective friend in time of need.
But now I know ...
if I say nothing
do nothing
solve nothing ...
my presence is enough.
Not because I have anything to offer, but because my God has EVERYthing to offer.

He is the light of the world.
He lives in me.
So when I climb into the darkness with a brother or sister, I shine HIS light into the darkness.
And HOPE is born.

On my own I can do nothing to bring healing and joy to the broken heart of another.
But I CAN take her to the feet of the One who created her, died for her, and loves her, trusting Him to bind up her wounds and heal her broken heart.
And then, sit back and watch Him take those broken pieces ...
and make her whole once again.

How good it feels to be held in the strong and faithful grip of a Holy God!

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