The text hit me like a punch to the gut. When I first saw that he had sent me a message, I smiled as I reached for my phone. I was expecting to read how captivated he was by his new born daughter's curled lips and sweet little finger. Or maybe how beautiful his wife was even the pains of childbirth. At the very least, he was begging me to give him advice on how to manage a good night's sleep on the hospital room couch.
Instead, it was a cry for help. A need for prayer. The news was not good.
So twelve hours later, there I was in the intensive care unit with my good friend, praying over his three day old angel as she courageously recovered from a stroke.
There are no words to calm. There is no solution to the pain. I could do nothing but be present.
Sometimes that's all that is needed. Just to be present. To stay. To not walk away. To not allow the confusion and lack of answers to keep me away.
When we don't know how to respond, we often do nothing. When we don't know what to say, we often remain silent. There may not be a right way to handle a moment like that. But there certainly is a wrong way. And the wrong way is...to leave.
So when your friends, neighbors, or co-workers put you on the spot and ask you questions that, as far as you are concerned, have no answers...just stay. Whatever you do, don't leave.