The Gift of Your Presence


Comforting friends is more than giving them things. It’s giving them YOU.

May God’s grace and blessing be upon all who sincerely love our Lord Jesus Christ. —Ephesians 6:24 (TLB)

When my friend Dolores’s husband, Milt, died, I wanted to do something special for her. But what? Flowers? Casserole? I knew she’d get plenty of those. A plant? No, she lives in Florida but spends the summers in New York and shouldn’t have to worry about houseplants.

I went to the supermarket, wandering around the aisles tormented. What can I get her? I should be home baking something from scratch, I thought. I wheeled my grocery cart up and down the aisles. What? Finally, I grabbed a box of big fresh strawberries. Next, I tossed my two favorite kinds of chocolate candies into the cart. In the bakery, I thought about comfort foods and selected a long loaf of whole grain bread.

At home, I put the chocolates into two jars I’d hand-painted, arranged everything in a big bag, and wrote her a note. When I arrived at her house, I placed the bag on the kitchen counter as I was ushered into the living room.

After a few tearful moments of talking about Milt’s death after a long struggle with kidney disease, Dolores started telling heartfelt stories about him that included quite a few good laughs. Later, after good-bye hugs, I saw the bag on the kitchen counter, unopened, as I walked out the door.

I shouldn’t have worried about what to bring to my friend. My presence with Dolores and letting her share stories of her beloved husband meant much more to her than anything I could have put in that bag.

Father, help me to remember that comforting friends is more than giving them things. It’s giving them me. —Patricia Lorenz
Digging Deeper: Lk 6:31;2Cor1:3–5

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