by Peggy Hahn, LEAD Executive Director
Everyone knows the gut-wrenching pain of a hard time. I am sure you have noticed, we are living through one in our world right now.
- When going to school is a life-threatening experience for students of all ages
- When going through a divorce
- When living with or accompanying terminal illness
- When abused or impacted by emotionally or mentally ill people
- When addicts are not working on getting clean
- When under or unemployed, unable to pay bills or feed children
- When a natural disaster rips our lives apart
- When death shocks us as dear friends, parents or children leave this world too soon
Life can be unbearable. The pain and suffering is real and it is all around us. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.
In hard times, how are we showing up for each other?
Sometimes hard times mean we must hit STOP on life as we usually live it. We can’t just do what is on the calendar. It is more important to show up than to send a note, say a quick prayer, or talk by phone.
This is what it means to be incarnational.
It is easy to believe people when they say, “I’m okay,” when we know in our hearts they are NOT. Their statement can give us permission to stay caught up in our own whirlwind. Stop doing this.
There is truly nothing like being there.
Jesus lived this. Sometimes, like in the case of Lazarus’s death, he showed up later than the family wanted, but he still came. Maybe one point of this story is to remind us that late is better than never when it comes to being with the people we love as they go through hard times.
Too many people are going it alone. They are surrounded by coworkers, friends and even family, that believe them when they say “I’m okay.” We can tell ourselves, “it’s none of our business.” Or “I don’t want to mettle.” We are really just letting ourselves off the hook for not showing up.
If there is any reason to follow Jesus, it might just be to figure out how to love other people, even in (especially in) hard times. This is less about the church and more about the Christians. You know who needs you. Be there for them in a way that gives them the courage to heal. Don’t back off on tough conversations because they are awkward. Stick your neck out, pray like crazy, and be Jesus in hard times. This is our watch.