My husband and I have a friend, John, who is going through a difficult time.
My husband asked me, “Is it ok if I invite John over? I don’t know if he’ll want to talk about it, but we can be there for him.”
I said, “Absolutely.”
John came over and we sat together for several hours. John shared the difficulties of his current situation. We listened. We empathized. We prayed. There were tears. There was silence. I hope we helped a little bit.
Do you know what helped even more? Our 3.5-year-old son Cohen who lives with Down syndrome. Cohen was there while we talked and brought all of his charm. He pulled out all of his favorite tricks—animal sounds, funny faces, his disappearing ball magic trick, and a great deal of physical affection.
Cohen crawled right up in John’s lap and was silly as can be. He’d make a funny face and then go in for a kiss on the lips. Then he’d crack himself up hysterically, and do it again. It wasn’t long before all of us were laughing just as hard as Cohen.
After the funny-face-kissing game, Cohen stayed in John’s lap and rested his head on John’s chest. He wrapped his arms around John and gave him the biggest embrace.
John said, “Well, this was the highlight of my day. If it’s ok, I’d like to come back for more of Cohen.”
My husband and I are both ordained pastors. We also have both been through what John is experiencing. You’d think we’d have some profound wisdom to offer. However, what was the most meaningful aspect of John’s visit? Cohen. Cohen showed John love by making him smile and giving him affection. Cohen made John feel seen and special.
Love comes in many forms. Sometimes we make love too complicated. What if we loved by seeing people and making them feel special?