God With Us - Being With Others

For many people Christmas is a wonderful time with family and friends. We eat (probably too much), drink (more than we should), enjoy good conversation (stay away from those dangerous topics), play games (try not to be too competitive), and collapse into bed each night feeling that all is well in this world. However for some, Christmas is a most difficult time of the year as they struggle with lack of family connection, strained friendships, loneliness and stress.

Being with someone is what is important. I am one of those people who doesn’t mind going into a hospital. When people need care physically, they usually need care emotionally and spiritually as well. I have found that just being present is one of the most important things to do. I don’t come with answers to problems just a listening hear. The necessary part is to listen and be present. A touch can speak volumes to someone who is in need. It tells them that you care and love them.

So how does this speak to caring for people at Christmas? The Bible tells us that God came to be with us. The biblical word is “Immanuel”. God has always been here. In this instance, however, God came to be very present with us. He took on the form of a human being. This means that he can empathize with our pain and sorrow. He knew the physical pains of life. He also knew the emotional pain of broken relationships. He was despised and rejected by men.

When we meet someone who has gone through difficult times, and survived, we realize that they will understand us. Being understood goes a long way toward the healing of emotional suffering. Jesus, God with us, knew all of the suffering that we go through. Because Jesus has “been there”, we can turn to him and ask him to be with us. He is always present and empathizes with our sufferings; both physical and emotional.

As a follower of Jesus, I live my life working at being present with people. I focus on them when we are together. My natural bent is to think about what is next or what I should be doing or how I can fix a problem. By being present, listening, and then asking good questions, I am trying to live as Jesus lived. I also invite God to be present with us when I am meeting with people.

If you know of someone who will not be having a “wonderful” Christmas, would you take some time to be present with them? Make a phone call, send a text message, invite them into your home, take over some baking. Find a way to be there for them. It is what Christmas is about – God being with us – let’s be there for each other.