“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” -Galatians 5:13
Some times the greatest gift that we have to give to someone else is simply the gift our our presence with nothing added and nothing taken away. I’m not sure if you are like me or not, but I am one of those people that often thinks “I’ve got to fix it!”, but the Spirit is teaching me that I don’t have to fix it and there are going to be times that I can’t fix it, but I can almost always be present and my presence is more than enough.
My wife used to come home from school and she would start telling me about her day and the challenges that she faced and I would immediately start telling her what she should and should not have done. One day while we were having this very traditional back and forth, she just put her hand up and said: “I don’t need you to be my preacher, pastor or friend, I just need you to listen and let me get it out.” And from that day on, I learned the value of a sore tongue, because I have almost bitten a hole in my tongue while biting it to try and keep my mouth shut.
One of my teachers in middle school used to say: “God gave you two ears and one mouth, so you should do twice as much listening as you do talking.” There are times when we worry ourselves ragged trying to figure out what to say or what to do to help someone else, when honestly all they need is our presence. Just to know that someone cares is often more than enough to get a person through what they are doing their best to get through.
I ran into the above little poem about ministry and it reminded me that each and every one of us have the opportunity to minister to others.
We can minister to others by taking the time to listen. We can minister to others by looking for and accentuating the joy. We can minister to others by helping someone else, even when we feel like we are the ones that needs the help. We can minister to others by asking God to use us to share His love and blessing with others. We can minister to others by putting our arm around someone’s shoulders, giving them a hug around the neck or maybe a pat on the back. We can minister to others by encouraging them by finding the positive that has to be in there somewhere. We can minister to others by praying for them and with them. We can minister to others by serving them and meeting whatever need we can. We can minister others by comforting them with our words and actions.
Ministry at it’s best is about our presence. Some time, most of the time, just being there is more than enough…