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Be Present

After 20 children and 6 staff members were murdered in a Connecticut school, the entire nation was stunned that such a horrific thing could happen. Everyone focused on the tragedy and the questions surrounding it: What kind of person would do such a thing, and why? How can we prevent it from happening again? How can we help the survivors? Amid the chaos, an unlikely group moved in and made a difference.

From Chicago came dogs— specially trained golden retrievers that offered nothing except affection. Dogs don’t speak; they simply offer their presence. Children traumatized by the violence opened up to them, expressing fears and emotions they had not spoken to any adult. Tim Hetzner of Lutheran Church Charities said, “The biggest part of their training is just learning to be quiet.”

As we learn from the book of Job, people in grief do not always need words. Sometimes they need someone to sit silently with them, to listen when they need to speak, and to hug them when their sorrow turns to sobs.

God may not intervene to change circumstances and He may not explain suffering, but He comforts us through the presence of other believers (Col. 4:8).

He’s with us in the valley,
Amid the darkest night
He tells us in our sorrow;
Faith will give way to sight. —D. DeHaan
Listening may be the most loving and Christlike thing you do today.

  1. seedie63 says:

    Only with the Holy Ghost can tame the tongue.

  2. ashleyj13 says:

    Excellent… Very useful info.

  3. jarchey says:

    May we all through the power of THE HOLY SPIRIT be better listeners and remember that only GOD can change people because HE knows our hearts and has all power.

  4. robcampbell2 says:

    Good stuff… We need to be more like dogs!!!

  5. donnabee says:

    I totally can relate. I have seen the power of a dog’s presence in my own certified therapy dog, Noah. His ‘golden smile’ gets folks talking and reminiscing.

  6. livingss says:

    I must learn to give more of myself unselfishly

  7. rdupree says:

    I wish that young people knew the value of listening.

  8. pottsy072900 says:

    Excellent message

  9. olivecentre says:

    Let us be there, for each other. Especially with those in pain and sorrow. Make someone to #smile. By this we demonstrate His love.

  10. porsche says:

    Listen on Gods voice

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