They Sat Together…

Recently I saw a new angle in a verse from the book of Job.

I used to think that Job’s friends were not very empathetic and did not know how to relate to him and his tragedies.  Now I see a new perspective.  In the beginning of the story, Job’s friends actually sat with him for one week not saying anything.

“Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was”. Job 2:13

Just being with him. Not giving advice… Not criticizing…They showed up.

We might ask, “Didn’t they know what to say?”

Perhaps they should have kept their mouths shut!  Just being with someone in a crisis is a powerful healing tool.  Maybe that’s what gave Job the capacity to actually listen to their human faulty words and to seek God and to feel and express himself even though he was self-righteous and defensive with his friends’ accusatory tendencies.  In the long run, Job understands that God is good and that even though there is pain, the Lord is our redeemer and He is mighty and knows more than anyone or anything here on earth.  And let’s face it, his friends were present.  They showed up.

The joy and healing of connection
There is something to learn about our human interactions and about exposing ourselves to others.  Yes, we can be hurt if we vulnerably expose ourselves to others, but if we don’t we may not experience the joy of human empathy, comfort and connection.

The power of being present
We can learn about comfort and how “just being with someone” can prove powerful and show commitment.  Being present gives margin so mistakes are not always devastating to the relationship.  Grace flows freely to the friend who shows they care…who keeps in touch and is present in times of need.  We can forgive awkward moments and soak in the comfort the Holy Spirit brings to us through them…but only if they are present.

Be Present Today


Proverbs 10:19

When there are many words, sin is unavoidable,  but the one who controls his lips is wise”. 


In times of deep grief and pain there may be no words or few words…  It’s OK if we don’t know what to say.  Healing and comfort will come with:

More Time

Less advice

More listening

Less judgment

More affirming

I want to be a present friend – able to lend a listening ear, a comforting word and a shoulder for tears.  I’m thankful for friends that tell me the truth even when it hurts and am thankful friendship’s treasure is present in my distress.

Are you longing for deeper more meaningful human connections? 

Prayers for the bravery to walk deeply into the waters of friendship…-Madge

Be Present

Yesterday I promised to share one of my go to verses this year. I remember I was in a Rosen Centre hotel room in Orlando at a business meeting reading my devotion for the day and I came across this verse as I was searching for a new memory verse for the month. I thought it was for one of my memorization partners at the time, but as it turns out, it was for me too. OK, it was probably mainly for me.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  Isa. 43:18-19

Forget the former things? The past? Yesterday? We really like holding on to the past, especially the good things…but the life of the past is static – not reversible. I don’t advocate not dealing with the past’s wounds or not celebrating the past’s successes, but we must move ahead. Live and give in the present. Listen for the ‘new thing’ – the ‘now thing’ – for who you can help or mentor, for the call you can make, for the steps you can take. Nineteen year old, Katie Davis of Amazima Ministries, said (paraphrased) ‘Courage is not about knowing the path but taking the first step…getting out of the boat.’

When I said I’d be talking about this verse today I had no idea that the theme of the Catalyst Conference 2011 is ‘Be Present’. I’m glad I dropped in as an online guest.

It is challenging to have the courage to Be Present.  As Joel Houston said today at Catalyst, ‘When you feel out of your comfort zone or uneasy, it’s a perfect time for God to do what only HE can do.‘

I want to get out of the boat each day. What about you?