One of the best things we can do to show we love someone is to just be there. We need to be available to those we love just so they know they are loved. Whether it’s your friend’s wedding, your kid’s first baseball game, or simply sitting by your spouse in church on Sunday…just be there. Take this soldier’s example on how to just be there…
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside. “Your son is here,” she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened. Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night, the young marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night. Along towards dawn, the old man died. The marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited. Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.
“Who was that man?” he asked. The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.
“No, he wasn’t,” the marine replied. “I never saw him before in my life.”
“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”
“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. When I realised that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”
Sometimes, the easiest thing we can do is to simply be there. Be there in both the good times and the bad. Be there to show the person that you care, that you love them, and that they are not alone. This is where actions speak louder than words. This is where a hug, a warm shoulder to cry on, or a hand held can make all the difference in the world. I know that simply having my wife by my side makes me feel better when times are rough. It also makes me happier when she is by my side in the good times as well.
Each morning my wife and I give each other a hug and a kiss. But it’s not just a good morning hug and kiss. It’s the one that says, “Whatever this day brings, I will be there.” Nothing needs to be said. Nothing needs to be done. We just need to be there.