The Power of Showing Up
We want to make a difference in the lives of our family, our community of faith, and our world. Elders want to shepherd their flock in real and meaningful ways. Preachers want their words to have a real and lasting impact because they are measured by active participation in the lives of their flocks. We all want to give support, encouragement, and help. Love one another. Be there for each other.
Especially in times of crisis. Times when sin has caused someone in the flock to stumble. When the consequences of sin touch the lives of those we lead. Death and serious illness. And so many more events with potential to shatter lives and attack faith. We all want to know what we can do.
If you are serious, here is a suggestion.
Isn't that what Jesus did? He came right into the middle of this world, and the Holy Spirit swelled in the person and the church. And they showed up. So should we.
Visit a shut-in. Be at the game. Sit in the courtroom. Wait at the hospital.
But is that really enough? Isn’t there something I should do when I do show up?
Keep it short and sweet. Don't stay long. Cry with them. Cheer with them. Pray. Prayers can be short and sweet. Give the hug. Hold the hand. Touch the shoulder.
You don't have to have all the answers. “I love you” is a great thing to say. Speak truth into their lives. Read a Scripture. Sing a song.
People in your family and faith community need support, love, forgiveness, acceptance, a listening ear, and encouragement.
If they need real spiritual advice, ask an elder (or an elder and his wife) to go with you.
But you need to know this: it will cost you to really show up. It takes some time. Sometimes money. Sometimes it is fun. Sometimes it is not. The blood may be flowing—literally at times. Tears may fall.
But be there.