Sometimes a knock at the door is the best sound in the entire world. Other days it’s a text message alert at just the right time. And always, hands down, finding a letter in your mailbox is one of life’s simplest, most joyful gifts.
A few years ago I saw “being there” for someone as a big thing – and it is. But I’ve found that most often, that big thing looks like one hundred small moments. Choosing to be for someone looks like simply showing up. With kind words, with a plate of brownies, with one step further than a quick “like” or “I’ll be praying for you.”
It isn’t that those things aren’t important and true, social media can be incredibly useful. I’ll be the first to admit that I believe so much good can come from Twitter and Instagram and all the others. But nothing beats face-to-face time with the ones you love. Nothing beats hearing a familiar voice on the other end of the line.
Right now, my life looks different. A handful of months ago, just showing up was as simple as walking down the hall and knocking on any one of dozens of doors in my dorm room. With a brisk 10 minute walk I could be anywhere on campus. When my people needed me, I was there.
Looking back, I often made it harder in my head than it ever was. Schedules were jam-packed, to-do lists were a mile long, but we were all right there. Together.
But days come and times change and now when I get the texts or hear about good news or bad, when I want to do one million things to show my people that I love them, I’m trying to remember “just show up.”
It isn’t fancy and it sure looks different, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Now, it looks like planning dinner and coffee dates weeks in advance. It looks like leaving church on a Sunday morning to go and be the church. It looks like dropping off brownies the night before a big test or dropping everything on my agenda for the day to drive over and sit in the silence. Most days it looks like setting an alert on my phone so I don’t forget to pray each day and then, later on, sending a text message asking for an update on how things are going.
I don’t want to get months or years down the road and look back, only to think once again, “Gosh, I sure made it harder in my head than it ever was.”