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In the midst of this beautiful and busy season, take a moment to consider the people in your life who are stressed, hurting, grieving, or maybe even struggling in their faith right now — family members, friends, or even acquaintances for whom you are praying. (If this is you, sweet (in)courage friend, I’m praying especially for you right now.) It’s hard to imagine that at least one person isn’t coming to mind for every single one of us, possibly several. Though prayers matter and make a difference, do you lament not being able to do more, to offer a tangible expression of support or concern?
It was at the recent funeral of someone precious and dear to me that I was reminded of a simple but powerful gesture that expressed love, compassion, encouragement, and genuine care: just showing up.
Friends - Faith - Community - Hometowns - Friends
Dear friends from our faith community two hometowns ago, life-long best friends, writing/blogging friends I would have never anticipated making the long drive, my husband’s work colleagues who drove four hours one-way to be with us, and also all the folks we might have expected to be there. Had any one of those out-of-towners told us they were planning to attend, we would have expressed our gratitude for their thoughtfulness while simultaneously protesting their attendance because of the inconvenience.
What I didn’t anticipate, what I was completely clueless about beforehand, was how glad I would be to see every sweet face, how loved, known, and valued their presence would make me feel. Their small act of “just” showing up made a huge difference. Absolutely every card, call, text, email, memorial gift, and flower expressed sympathy, love and were genuinely appreciated, but I underestimated the comfort of skin-to-skin contact. A hug has the magical ability to communicate love without words; a hug emoji doesn’t compare.
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