Crystal Cathedral

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Kindness Korner

Just "show up"

Just “Show Up”

“Thank you so much for the message you left on my answering machine,” she gushed, “it really carried me through a difficult weekend.”

It wasn’t the first time I had heard that kind of appreciation. Always I am mildly stunned. Such a small contribution. Such a big reaction.

People are thankful for acts of kindness, no matter how little. In contacts such as my message they mostly remember somebody showed up. The woman who appreciated my recorded greeting will not forget I called, but what I said, will slip quickly away.

It is easy to call a hurting person. But the average man or woman neglects this kind act. As greatly as such calls are appreciated, as elementary as the procedure of doing it is, the calls are done rarely. Too rarely.

Reach out to a struggling friend or relative, or a neighbor or stranger, with a word, touch, card or call. It literally gives them a “shot in the arm.” It is a dose of good medicine. It is love. It is God.

I called a friend to inquire about his well-being during his course of chemotherapy. His wife answered and said “Thank you for having the courage to call.” Courage?? Is that what it takes? Apparently. Why else would kind, good-hearted folks put off these spirit-lifting contacts. It must be fear.

When I ask people what they fear they say—“I’m afraid I will say the wrong thing.” They think they are expected to deliver a healing sentence, wise advice, or a spiritual thought, that will encourage the hurting person. They have the idea that their visit is about talking, saying something helpful. The pressure to do that, their fear, leads to a greater harm. They stay away. They leave the person alone. They deprive the person of their healing presence.

Most of the time the hurting person focuses little on what people say. Whatever is said is accepted but makes little difference. Wonderful words and brilliant remarks are alright, but not needed. Saying “hello”, that is showing up, makes a big difference. After that the visitor mostly listens.

So the conclusion of all this is to just “show up”.

1 comment:

  1. I showed this article to a young man, who's "brilliant & all-rounded & even 'upright'" by worldly standard, but who doesn't know Jesus and is too selfish to help others, to teach him "care & kindness". Because he's so "good" in everything, no one is successful to convince him his selfishness, never mind to correct him. I didn't expect much from this attempt. But strangely, he seemed to react positively. Recently, I heard God's whisper that this young man and his family are mission fields. For years, I've wanted to quit from a relationship with them - it doesn't worth my time and efforts, not making much sense for what I am asked to do for them. As God continues to grow my personal relationship with Him, I'm now able to see things differently, from the divine perspective.

    I felt God prompted me to use this article on that occassion. It's a
    spiritual uplift to me after seeing his unusual positive reaction. Thank you Pastor Jim Kok for being a blessing to us!