Just be there

rick Stanfield
Walton Sun

A few years ago, I found myself in Medford, Oregon, speaking at The Rogue Retreat. If you’ve never heard of this ministry, it may be the finest organization with which I’ve ever been associated.

We left our home in balmy Florida one morning and when we landed in Oregon, there was snow on the ground. Needless to say, it felt cold to these two Floridians!

When I walked into Set Free Ministries, there were dozens of homeless being tended to. I walked over and sat next to a man who was bundled in at least three layers of clothing and was dozing off to sleep periodically. As soon as I sat, he told me, “I don’t want to hear it! I don’t want to hear about God, I don’t want to hear what you’ve got to say. I just want to be left alone.” I asked him if I could just sit next to him and he nodded in agreement. I wasn’t quite sure what to do, so I just sat there as he suggested.

Colossians 4:5-6, Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

After about 15 minutes of silence, he asked where I was from and in another 30 minutes, I prayed with him as we held hands.

My point is, the devil was telling me to leave him alone, and my first instinct was to walk away.

Then God spoke up and said, “just sit down.”

We don’t always know what to do. Sometimes the most we can do is just be there, sit, listen and pray. After this, I simply listened to others’ stories and shared about what God had done for me.

Have you taken the time to really listen to someone in need lately?

The Rogue Retreat is a non-profit organization in Medford, Oregon, that does wonderful work for many people. Check them out, www.rogueretreat.com/

Rick Stanfield is a syndicated columnist, professor, motivational speaker and author. His latest book is “I Can and I Will.” For more information, visit his website at www.rickstanfield.com