A few years ago, I served as the pastor of First Baptist Church in Sebring, Florida. They were (and still are) a fine church. One Sunday morning, I had a lot on my mind as I walked into the sanctuary. And I guess it showed.
Brother Jay saw it. He was a former pastor of First Baptist, and he still attended there with his wife and family. Furthermore, he was one of the finest men I've ever met.
Anyway, he saw me walk up to the platform a few minutes before the service started. I sat down and waited for things to begin. Then, Brother Jay got out of his seat and walked up to the platform where I was seated. He sat down beside me and patted my knee. He said nothing. Absolutely nothing. But he sat there with me. It was as if his actions said, "I'm here, and I care." Then after a moment, he looked at me, smiled, and returned to his seat without opening his mouth. I felt so much more at ease after that experience. It really meant a lot to me. And I'll always remember that moment.
Sometimes in life, we see people hurting. And one of the best things we can do for them, is just be there. They don't need a sermon, pep-talk, or old, wore out clichés from us. Really, more than anything else, they just need to know we care and we are with them.
It's the ministry of presence. Simply being beside someone is what this is all about. And I can tell you from personal experience, it means a lot to people.
Is someone you know hurting today? Go see them. Be there. And it's ok if you don't know what to say. Your presence alone will mean more to them than you can imagine.