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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lesson 9: Give good advice! But sometimes, you just need to be there

Introduction to the lessons
Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Lesson 5
Lesson 6
Lesson 7
Lesson 8

As much as I've appreciated the advice people have given me over the time I've been ill, I've also greatly appreciated people just being there, or just asking how I am.
It's made me think about how I've been in situations when people were ill and/or struggling. Especially when Helen was ill...was I showing her enough that I cared? Was I always looking for the right thing to say or was I just happy to be there and chat in a normal way?

I know that when people are struggling – with illness or anything, really – I often feel this pressure to say the right thing that's gonna fix all their problems and concerns. I know when I went to see Abi, I felt that having just come through similar effects of illness I should have some wise and wonderful words to give her. But I didn't – nothing that she didn't already know or hadn't already been told hundreds of times. But I did know how she felt – to a large extent – and because of that I could just be there and relax and just let her just be.

Needing to say the right thing is a pressure I no doubt place on myself. But apart from the fact that I'm not wise or clever enough to always come up with the right thing...I now realise that often, it's just not needed. What's needed is to just be there. Be concerned, be natural. Pray that God would give you the words you need and that if something needs to be said, you'll say it. Then just relax and let God do the work...and know that it may not be through you. Know that that person may just need a friend, may just need a laugh, may just need to feel 'normal'.


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