#23 From my reading…

cover art, Where Is God When It Hurts? by Philip Yancey

from Chapter 14

“How Can I Help?”

A different situation arises when it is not I who suffer, but someone else whom I want to help. What can I do to alleviate their fear? I have learned that simple availability is the most powerful force we can contribute to help calm the fears of others….
Again and again suffering people… have stressed how much it means when healthy people make themselves available. It is not our words or our insights that they want most; it is our mere presence….
I have mentioned that no one offers the name of a philosopher when I ask the question, “Who helped you most?” Most often they answer by describing a quiet, unassuming person. Someone who was there whenever needed, who listened more than talked, who didn’t keep glancing down at a watch, who hugged and touched, and cried. In short, someone who was available, and came on the sufferer’s terms and not their own.

Yancey, Philip. Where Is God When It Hurts? (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1990), 194-5.

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