She recently lost her husband. They had been married for 56 years and she was reaching out to me as she knew I was a recent widow and she needed some help figuring out how to carry on without her husband. She asked me, "Could you come over and visit me sometime? I just don't know what I am suppose to do without my husband." Of course I said yes and we set up a time for me to visit her. I was so humbled that she would reach out to me for help. I also wondered how I could help her because I certainly have not yet figured out this whole thing of being a widow. Some days are better than others. Some days you think you are going to be just fine and other days you think you aren't going to make it. No matter how you are feeling on each day (and even each moment!) the feeling of really, really missing your husband never leaves you. I wondered what I could say that would help her, comfort her and encourage her......and then I realized that it wasn't what I said that was most important....it was the fact that I cared about her and because I cared I would certainly go and spend some time with her.
Isn't that what it is all about.....spending time with people? There is absolutely no substitute for spending time with people. We have such wonderful technology these days for keeping in contact with our friends and family via email, text messages, phone calls and FaceTime but after we send the email, or respond to the text or disconnect from our phone call we still have a longing for a face-to-face, in person visit together. Connecting with each other via face to face contact is so vitally important to each one of us. We long to spend time with others and we long to know that others genuinely care about us. We see this need for human connection when we are giving a Blessing Bag to someone that is homeless. Quite often the person receiving the Blessing Bag is more interested in having a conversation and interacting with us rather than looking to see what is in the Blessing Bag. This need for a genuine personal connection with another caring human being is a built in human trait. It cannot be denied and it cannot be filled with another substitute no matter how hard we try. As humans, we are created by a personal God to have personal relationships with each other and a personal relationship requires spending time together. I don't know of any other way to have a personal relationship with someone other than spending time with them.
Spending time with someone probably won't cost you a lot of money but it will certainly cost you time and time is one of our most precious commodities. We just don't have enough time and we are so stressed out trying to fit everything in. Well guess what? We are never going to have enough time and we are never going to fit it all in no matter how hard we try. So how do we find the time to spend with others in need? How do we find the time to spend an extra few minutes with a homeless person when we give them a Blessing Bag? How do we find the time to spend an hour with a new widow? We don't find the time....we just do it. I know that some of you are not comfortable reaching out to a homeless person and spending time with them and if your not, that is ok. Having direct contact with a homeless person is not everyone's calling, however, I know that if you are reading this blog you know someone that could really use some face-to-face personal interaction. I know that the instant you read this the likelihood of a specific person popping into your brain is is very good. That person that just popped into your brain is more than likely the person that you need to reach out to so you can arrange to spend some time with them.
I know that spending time with my friend who was recently widowed made a huge difference for both of us. When I first walked into house no words were necessary....we just gave each other a long, big hug. It really is hard to give a long, big hug using modern technology...it just doesn't work. She needed a hug and so did I and we needed to do that in person. That hug said more than we could have ever said to each other with words. That hug said..."I care about you, I know what your going through and we will be ok." We spent about an hour talking and listening to each other. We talked about how much we missed our husbands, how much our kids and grandkids meant to us and how we would adjust to our new lives as widows. We also shared memories about our husbands and ended up laughing about how much of a pain in the neck they were but how much we sure did love them and would always love them.
The bottom line of this blog is that spending time with people is so very, very important and there is no substitute for face to face personal interaction. I don't know who is in your life right now that needs some company and personal interaction. It might be a homeless person or it might be a friend or a family member. Whoever it is don't look for time to spend with them because you won't find the time....just do it.
In closing I would like to say, "I have much to write to you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face." 3 John verse 13.
Wishing I could spend time with many of you,
Founder, Soaring Wings Ministries
Anita Rennells is writer of this blog. She, along with her husband Ed, founded Soaring Wings Ministries to serve the homeless. The purpose of the blog is to tell the story of Soaring Wings Ministries and to give glory to God.
Soaring Wings Ministries