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2013-05-30 digital edition

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2013-05-30 / Church

THEY SAID IT

Who Needs You Today?

I was making my morning coffee when I got the call.

“He’s asking to see you,” Douglas’ daughter said. “He thinks today is the day.”

When I walked into Douglas’ room in the nursing home, he was snoring. I pulled a chair up to the bed and sat down. The snoring stopped. He opened one eye, and grinned.

“There you are,” he said.

I shook his hand and held on. We sat in silence for several minutes.

He sighed.

“I asked my daughter to call you because I wanted a buddy - a buddy to die with.” He paused and hung his head. “Right now the people I know come in two varieties. First, there’s the kind that don’t show up because they’re scared or uncomfortable. Second, there’s the kind that come and tell me everything they think I ought to know.”

He raised his eyes to mine. “I just wanted a buddy to die with.”

We need each other – especially when we’re hurting. We need people to show up. We don’t want pat answers or even good advice. We need someone with us in our pain and uncertainty. There is powerful comfort in knowing we are not alone. And what’s one of the best things to do when we’re hurting? Be there for someone else. Answer the call. Serve. If we all reach out when we’re hurting, can you imagine the impact?

Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in. Wow.

Who needs you today?

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice

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