Sometimes Your Presence Is All That’s Needed
I’ve always found funerals to be awkward. What do you say to someone who just lost a loved one? I struggled to find the right words to comfort the person grieving over a death of someone special. I would avoid eye contact and mumble something and politely hug the person in hopes that my actions might bring some level of comfort.
My perception of funerals changed when my sister passed. I was amazed and inspired by the myriad of family and friends that showed up to pay their respects. I was now on the other end of the awkwardness. Many friends approached me to offer their condolences. I could tell it was uncomfortable for them, but for me it was much needed support in a time of great despair and uncertainty.
I cannot remember anything anyone said at my sister’s funeral, but I do remember faces. I remember the images of loved ones that stood by my family during a time of immense pain and loss, and in the end I realized that my family and friends’ presence was all I needed.
Your presence is a gift to someone. It’s a gift that you should give freely and abundantly, because simply showing up means a lot to someone. My friend and Pastor, Timothy Woodcock, used to give me a hard time if I was not present at church on the days he was preaching a sermon. After I attended a men’s retreat Tim coordinated, he texted me, “Thanks for coming, it meant a lot to me.”
My presence provided emotional support and some form of validation for Tim that was important to him and for anyone that is striving to make an impact in the world. I’ve learned to recognize that and do my best to show up for my friends just so they know that I believe in them, because in the end, everyone needs the presence of those close to them in order to find the courage to face the challenges of life.
Sometimes in life, all that’s needed is for you to just show up. So make it a point to start “showing up” and you will be amazed at the impact and influence you will gain in other people’s lives. The next time your friend, family member, or colleague looks over their shoulder and makes eye contact with you, simply nod and smile and don’t worry about saying a word, because your actions speak louder than anything you could possibly say. Just show up and be present in a time of need and elevate someone close to you. Who can you show up for today?