Stay… I have a tendency to want to drop in quick and leave. Do my mission and go. It is not intentional, it just something in me. Maybe not wanting to bother someone, not wanting to make a big deal over why I am there, but something I have found over the years is that many people want you to stay. “Please stay, don’t go”. Not a polite please stay, but a deeper plea. There is power in staying with someone. When there has been a tragedy or heartache many times we avoid going to the person. We aren’t sure what to say, or how to help. We are afraid of saying the wrong thing, but most people just want someone to stay. There is power in presence. Being present. No words needed. Just staying says, “I am here for you. I see you and I love you”.
I am reminded of a story my friend told me. After her daughter died at 18 months old, this woman she did not know well would come over, bring her knitting, and just sit in the corner and be present. She would stay for an hour or two. No talking, just there to listen if my friend wanted to talk. No expectations, just being present. My friend told me at first she felt very uncomfortable, and then this woman became a deep blessing to her, and a comfort in a time when there really were no words. The gift of time and the power in staying were gifts my friend needed without knowing it.
In this season I want to do, and help, and fix, but what most people really need is for me to stay with them, to go the distance, to remind them that I am here and willing to stay for as long as they need, no words, no gifts, no actions needed. Just staying with, presence. Today as my heart continues to ache for many and with many, I ask God to show me who to stay with, and how to stay with them. Sometimes we are the “Jesus with skin on” that they are looking for and needing to keep going.