“Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20
Sometimes the best thing we can do with someone who is hurting is to spend time with her. We may not need to do anything or say a word.
My last home in Africa was six miles from town. Our village was small and insignificant, so there was no transportation to other places. Every Tuesday was market day. For miles around the women carried corn, peanuts, soy beans, okra, tomatoes, papayas, mangoes and oranges to sell at the gigantic open air shopping booths. After hawking their produce, they could purchase soap, kerosene, spices and matches.
Each Tuesday I hiked to town with the village ladies. The trek took two hours, but the time passed quickly as I listened to their problems and heard of the local incidents. We stopped to drink water, console a crying child or rearrange the loads. African women can carry a hundred pounds on their heads. Naturally they needed to rest a few times along the way.
During the hike I never gave them money, never treated the sick or taught health. I simply walked with them.
One day as I marched to town with them one of ladies commented. “We’ve never heard of any other white lady doing what you do.”
“What is that?”
“You hike all this distance with us. You could charter a private taxi to drive you to town. It’s like you become one of us during the trek to the market. We love you because you like being with us.”
Isn’t this what Jesus Christ did? He came to earth and spent 33 years walking with the people. Sometimes all that’s necessary is spending time with others. We may not need to do or even say anything.
But we value our time and are so busy doing so many things that time is often the hardest thing to give up. Being with another person may comfort her, make her feel worthwhile and even encourage her if she is disheartened.
Jesus says he is with us always. It’s reassuring that he is with us through everything.
Take time just to be with someone this week without ulterior motives.
Thanks for taking the time and joining me today.