I didn’t intend to write a ‘Part 2’, but then so much has happened over the past few days that I wanted to share.
Last week, I felt it was important that we ask not only ‘How are you?’ but follow it up with that second question: ‘How are you really?’, following the powerful documentary involving Roman Kemp. This week, I’ve been asking these questions and finding that people really do need to talk and need to know that there is someone there for them.
But first let me go back to the days pre-COVID, way back to May 2019. I was planning my annual Sunday Morning Service for ‘Buckle and Boots Country Music Festival’. Each year, I’ve been privileged and blessed with the opportunity to lead this service in a tent in the middle of the Festival site. It has become increasingly popular year on year and now attracts into the hundreds. Each year I’ve been joined and had the assistance of some amazing Country Music artists. In 2019, these were William Michael Morgan and Kezia Gill and it turned out to be an unforgettable experience. It was unforgettable because, on the Saturday morning, when we met to run through the service, Kez asked me if I would listen to a song she’d written to go with the theme of my service, in her tent the night before and see if I thought it was good enough. That song was the unforgettable ‘I’m here’ (if you’ve never heard it, do give it a listen: the link is below)
It was definitely a song written from the heart, and I can honestly say it reached the heart of every person in the tent on that Sunday morning when Kez first performed it, and has reached many thousands of hearts since. ‘I’m here’ then became a campaign for Kezia across social media. Asking the questions is important, but then being there when somebody needs you is even more so. I’ve realised this more than ever over the past week as I’ve supported my son through some of his darkest days and then a friend who has just slipped down and down until she’s virtually hit rock bottom.
Letting somebody know that you are there, that you are holding them and won’t let them go is worth more to them than all the riches in the world. It can be the difference between a road to recovery or a pathway to despair.
This week is Holy Week for the Christian church. This week we recall the painful journey Christ travelled to the cross of crucifixion. On that journey, we know that He had friends and family alongside, friends and family who didn’t leave Him, who were there until He drew His last breath. They were following the example He had shown and taught them throughout His ministry: to be there for one another, to love one another as He loved them, as He loves us.
So as we journey through this Holy Week, my plea to you is to just please ask the question, ask it again, and then if needed, follow it up with those amazing words of reassurance we all need from time to time: ‘I’m here’.