I have a friend who's entrusted me with a secret. It's nothing bad; it's just something she doesn't want other people to know, and I respect that. I haven't told anyone else and I'm not going to.
But when I mentioned to her that I was honored she'd chosen to tell me, she said, "It's because I needed to tell someone and you were there." At first, I laughed and teased her, saying, "Oh great, it's not because you love me and trust me or anything; it's not because I'm some amazing friend; it's just that I was there. Niiiiice." Chuckling, she hastened to clarify that she does love me and all, and we moved on to something new in our conversation.
But I've been thinking about what she said, and I've come to the realization that being there really does matter.
How many times have I gone onto Twitter to reach out to another human being who is connected and active online right at that very moment because I needed someone who was there? Most of the people I follow on Twitter are complete strangers to me, but being BFFs is not the requirement most times. I just want someone to be there to share life with at that particular moment, and just about any person will do. It's the magic of Twitter, really.
There's a reason that long-distance relationships are so difficult to maintain. It's the lack of thereness. My best friend lives five hours away and she and I have to work hard to keep our friendship alive because we can't always be there for one another. We can't just grab a cup of coffee and catch up. We have to carve out time together in order to nurture that relationship because being there is so important.
I've heard it said that showing up is half the battle, and I'm thinking it might account for more than half. The importance of simply being there for someone who has something to share can't be over emphasized. It's what connects us, makes us a community, and reveals the God-imprint in each of us.
Was there a time in your life when you needed someone to just be there and they were? What did that mean to you?