We were at a loss for words. The person in our midst shared the tender, broken places of their life and soul. The pain was palpable. There was no good explanation we could offer to wipe away the hurt or change the reality. So we sat there in silence, all of us struggling to find a way out of the misery.
When someone finally broke the tension it wasn’t with an eloquent speech that they had conjured up in their mind. They simply assured our friend…we are with you.
The Power of Presence
Our temptation is to do something for someone when they are hurting. We want to offer a buffet of solutions. We want to make things right. We want to give a wise sounding explanation. We want everything to go back to normal. It is uncomfortable to sit with people in the mess of life but sometimes that is exactly what is needed. Sometimes caring for others well means simply being present.
I know, it rarely feels like it is enough. But reassuring someone that you will be present with them in the chaos and confusion is powerful and gives them strength. Listen to them. Hold their hand. Acknowledge where they are, don’t try and rush them through it. Don’t underestimate the power of presence. It is enough.
Next time when you don’t know what to say, don’t force yourself to come up with words. Simply assure them…we will be with you.
What do you generally do to care for someone? How do you feel about simply being present with someone as a way to care for others? What makes that hard for you?