Fellowship of the Parks in Keller Sunday to hear Rob. (Sam was 'under the weather'.) (He's better now.)
I don't think there's anyone easier for me to listen to than Rob.
When Don Kawahigashi gave the welcome at the beginning of the service, he said, "Pastor Rob Carmack is speaking today, so you'll need to fasten your seat belts!" (something like that)
And we did.
He spoke on Empathy and how we should rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
My take-away was to not give advice to or try to rationalize with someone who is going through a very hard time.
And I usually so want to give advice, you know, to HELP them.
But I need to be silent with them.... and just be there.... or take some food, or run an errand, or do whatever they need - besides give advice - unless they ASK for it.
That made me think of a time back in 1984 when my twin had just been (two days before) diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (at the age of 32). A lady (a pillar in the church) called me and started lecturing me on how I needed to give thanks in all things... and these things (cancer) happen because we live in a fallen world, but we can rejoice because we will see Jesus some day, and we won't be suffering then. And that I needed to 'get a grip'.
I remember I kept saying, "You're right, you're right. Mm hmm."
Then when she hung up I just felt weird...like guilt-ridden.... like I was so weak, and I should be rejoicing that Peggy was closer to heaven... or would be healed, and that would be wonderful, of course.
What was the matter with me? Wasn't I a Christian? Shame on me for feeling so bad.
So you can see that Rob's message on just 'being there' for people hit home with me.
It made me remember that.
And it made me realize that my desire to give advice is when I'm not in the throes of suffering - the other person is - and though I think I can help them with words of wisdom..... I NEED TO KEEP THOSE WORDS TO MYSELF (at least until they are wanted).
Well, there is more to tell about Peggy and her cancer.... and I've been writing about that lately (for myself - and may 'publish' it someday).
Life is good... and to live it ... and look back on it... and learn from it... is wonderful.
And God IS with us... in the present, now... as he's been through the years, and will be tomorrow.
What a relief to know that.
What a profound relief.
But I don't need to preach that to folks who've just been given horrible news.
I need to just "be there" somehow.