Published on 2/11/2023
Come Sit Awhile with Me
Many years ago, my husband James had to leave the house early for an all-day meeting. Knowing how he prefers oatmeal than donuts or pastries, I got up to fix breakfast. While cooking, lots of thoughts went through my mind.
Just oatmeal? But I'm sleepy. Scrambled eggs? James would love that. But I'm really tired. Maybe I will go back to bed as soon as he starts eating.
But I changed my mind. James obviously enjoyed his breakfast. Suddenly, he looked up and said, "Thanks for getting up early and fixing breakfast. I so appreciate you eating with me. Do you know that in the song You Raise Me Up, the phrase 'Until you Come and Sit Awhile with Me' always moves me? It means so much that you sit with me, even just for 15 minutes. I know you are tired."
My eyes got moist. "Thanks. I'm tired. Part of me didn't want to get up. I just wanted to cook breakfast and go back to sleep. I wasn't hungry, but there was another part of me that just wanted to sit with you for a while. Now you tell me the same thing: 'Come and sit awhile with me.' Actually, I thought of that song too."
“Glad to hear that. Now I can see that every week when we sit down to talk or sing with Mama, or to go for a walk with her, we are giving her a gift.” (This was in the days that my mother-in-law was still alive.)
Humans crave belonging and connection. Everyone needs a friend who will listen, sit down, fish or play basketball with. Caring is more than feeling sorry for someone when something bad happens. Caring is not just doing things for family members out of duty. We can learn how to help others joyfully by being there with them. CARE requires Compassion, Acceptance, Respect and Empathy. As followers of Christ, we already have new life. With the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we can, by God's grace, be inspiring and encouraging helpers like Brother Barnabas.
"News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts." (Acts 11:22-23).
I'm so glad we spent time every week with Mama while she was still alive. James and I have recently moved to be closer to our son and his growing family. Although we still need to get used to the cold weather, how wonderful it is to spend time with one or many of them! Imagine our joy when our daughter-in-law showed up one day and said, "It's warm outside today, are you interested in taking a walk together?"
Happy Valentine's Day!!!
I am now a retired California marriage and family therapist who no longer provides therapy services. Lord willing, I shall continue to write articles and lead workshops; and you are still welcome to visit ParentingABCtoday.com for additional resources. May the Lord bless you and your family!
Winnis Chiang, founder of Parenting ABC and a retired LMFT, is passionate about helping Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking parents to get along with, enjoy, and positively influence their American-born children.