This past weekend Brian and I flew to California to attend a funeral for a friend of his that became a friend of mine, Debbie. It was an unexpected death and brought shock to most. In order to travel there are many things that have to be done. You have to have someone to watch the kids to start with then plan a flight, car rental, hotel (or folks to stay with), food, and make sure work allows the time off. Once all this is set up, you pack, have someone take you to the airport then you're off. It's not easy.
As we were preparing our trip, I wanted to make sure I knew what the Bible said about hope, after all, that's what her husband would need to hear, hope in the Lord, to trust Him, to be confident in the God of the world that He had a plan, a good plan even when we couldn't see it. Yes, I had mentally noted the scriptures and words that would be used to minister to Al. I was ready.
Per usual, the Lord taught me something. Something I'm not really good at. Being quiet. You see, when I saw Al, I said nothing. I cried and hugged him. That's all I could do. He said thanks for being there. And later when we would talk, he would talk of Debbie and tell us about her and tell stories. And it was wonderful. He just needed to talk about her. He needed my presence, not my words. He knows we have three kids and live in Texas and traveling to California isn't the easiest and it meant the world to be there for him. That's it, to be there. Present.
I learned that there is a time to talk and minister and sometimes there is just a time to hug someone, cry with them, and tell them they are loved. And that goes far deeper than words ever could.