Over the last few weeks I’ve learned that several of my friends have been going through pretty difficult times. One friend’s husband has been facing very serious health challenges while another friend lost his mother. When I heard this news, my first reaction was to think something along the lines of “why do bad things happen to good people?” My next response was to bake each of them a pie.
In his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”, Harold S. Kushner writes, ““Is there an answer to the question of why bad things happen to good people?…The response would be…to forgive the world for not being perfect, to forgive God for not making a better world, to reach out to the people around us, and to go on living despite it all…no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it has happened.”
How do you respond when bad things happen to your friends? Though sometimes I think it is hard to know precisely what to do, I have found that often doing something as simple as showing up matters a great deal. On my desk I have pasted the quote, “You can pretend to care, but you cannot pretend to show up” by George L. Bell. Something about those words really resonates with me… I guess it because it’s imperative to me that the people I care about know that I am the kind of person that they can depend upon…. the kind of person that shows up. And if I just happen to show up with a pie, well, I think that will work out just fine.
“A true friend never gets in your way, unless you happen to be going down.” Arnold H. Glasow