Checking in

There are a lot of hurting people in this world.

Not a revolutionary statement, I know. But I’m intensely aware of it today. I have loved ones who this very moment are dealing with death, divorce, sexual abuse, depression, rebellious children, and any number of harsh, ugly issues. My prayer list has grown and grown over the past couple of months, and I find myself struggling with how best to help the people I care about. I feel angry at those who’ve hurt them, frustrated by a lack of improvement, or impotence in the face of their anxieties.

The truth is, I can’t fix any of it. The good news is, I’m not supposed to. Thankfully, I serve a loving God to Whom I can turn over all those heartaches, trusting Him to meet needs, bind wounds, and break chains. I do what I can do: I pray…and I check in.

Check in?

It’s a simple thing. When my mom died in 2011, it was devastating for me. She’d been ill with cancer for 10 years, so it wasn’t a surprise, but it was heartbreaking nevertheless. Having friends and family just check in with me was a balm to my heart. No big long talks, no heavy communication. Just checking in–just thinking of me and letting me know they were there–got me through the roughest parts of my grief. And so that’s one way I can share God’s grace and love with those I hold dear. I check in.

When is the last time you just checked in on someone you love? Nothing more than a quick text, email, or note? “Just checking in on you today–how are you feeling? How can I best pray for you? Please know that I love you.” Sometimes that is the one thing that gets a hurting person through the next hour of a soul-wrenchingly difficult day. Not every gift we give has to be lavish and extravagant. Lifting the heart of a dear one–even for a short minute–is God’s transcendent work in this world.

I’m done feeling guilty and overwhelmed with the grief and pain I see in my loved ones. No matter what my day looks like, no matter how busy or tired I become, I always have time to check in. I always have time to be a whisper of God’s grace into someone’s day.




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