Through my tear-filled eyes, I looked over at the table, and there they were.
On the toughest day of my life, my “sisters” were present. It wasn’t their words. It wasn’t their flowers. It wasn’t their food.
What mattered most was they chose to show up.
I don’t believe I’ll ever forget the sight. They didn’t demand attention. They didn’t smother or overwhelm me. They didn’t expect anything from me. They just chose to show love, support, and blessing with their presence. As they did, they shared the weight of my grief, and they infused hope in my torn-apart heart.
These friends of mine taught me much that day:
There were a million other places they could have been, yet they were with me. They taught me priorities.
It was a cold day in December, yet they chose to stand next to me at my mother’s grave. They taught me to put other’s needs ahead of my own.
It was a heartbreaking day, yet they brought a smidgen of joy to my heart. They taught me being present can bring another joy.
They taught me to just show up.
Sometimes it’s in the showing up that is the greatest blessing to another. It’s less about finding the perfect way to help, and more about just being present. Letting another know you are there. Allowing another to see you care. Coming alongside of another in love, support, and encouragement.
Even without saying a word.
At my uncle’s funeral last spring, as I stood in front of our family and read the chosen scripture, I looked out and saw a familiar face who wasn’t family. He was the husband of one of my Bible study friends. He shot me a smile as I glanced his way. I wondered why he was there. Did he know my uncle?
He left before I got a chance to say hello and to thank him for coming. Later that week his wife told me that’s what he does. He goes to local funerals to bless others with his presence. Even if he didn’t know personally the one who passed away, he goes to just show up.
I desire to be more like that.
There are many ways you and I can show up, not only this Christmas season, but throughout the year. Oftentimes we can complicate things by thinking we should perform some grand gesture to make a difference to someone, when the simple act of showing up may be the only gesture that matters.
What is one way you and I can show up in another’s life today, this week?
Attend an event we’ve been invited to.
Show up at a funeral or visitation.
Sit with a friend in a hospital waiting room.
Visit your girlfriend who needs a friend.
Spend time with a neighbor who is lonely.
Invite someone who lives alone over for Christmas dinner.
There are countless ideas to bless another with our presence. What ideas can you share below?
May this Christmas season be one of putting people before presents, placing others before ourselves, and extending love and joy to others as we show up.
God bless you, friend.
Linking this post with with Suzie Eller and friend for #livefreeThursday. So much encouragement over there on the prompt “just show up.”
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Great post, Julie, and I am so glad your Sisters were there for you! Says a lot about them…and a lot about you.
One thing I’d add – we have to be willing to show up for ourselves, as well. At the moment my morale is at rock bottom, and I have to build it up from there, every day…I have to take the trouble to do it, to extend the compassion inward that I would so readily extend to others. It’s not easy, because I think we all tend to undervalue ourselves, just a little.
But when Jesus said we should love our neighbours as ourselves, that last bit was not necessarily an assumption that we place ourselves first. often we do the reverse, and he was reminding us that that sort of false humility is just as much a failure as is conceit.
Thanks, Andrew. Good point. I appreciate different perspectives and thoughts coming from other’s experiences, and you continually make me think. I’m thankful you do. Yes, we need to show up for ourselves as well. Coming from someone who put myself before others too much in my youth, I tend to go to the other extreme. It’s good to have a balance, and I’m glad to read you extend compassion inward too. I pray for you daily, brother. Thanks for stopping over.
Great post, Julie. It hit my heart as my sister is in a time of grief right now. I live several states away from her. I’m going to find ways to show up across the miles. Thanks for your heartfelt words.
Thank you, Cindy for sharing. I’m sorry to read your sister is walking through a time of grief right now. I pray God enlightens you with ways to show up from afar. God bless you as you do so.