This week, the world found out the cause of Toby Mac’s firstborn son’s death—an accidental overdose. His name was Truett Foster McKeehan, and he passed away at the youthful age of 21. It is said that he wanted to be just like his daddy and that he was his inspiration. What a privilege and honor it is to gain the admiration of a child!
I personally know others who have lost a child, and the severity of the immense amount of pain a parent endures from losing a child is unfathomable. Whether its loss or something else, seeing another human being hurting on the inside is one of the worst feelings to experience. Even though their face is the same, their countenance is different and their eyes empty from sorry. Watching someone with inner-agony grieves the heart of another. If only we could relieve some of their hurt; if only the words we give would help; but the truth is, sometimes, they just need your presence. Just being there for people matters.
I remember when Rick Warren’s son passed away, he tweeted, “When people are in deep pain they don’t need explanations, advice, encouragement, or even Scripture. They just need you to show up and shut up. Just be WITH them. It’s the healing ministry of presence.” But one thing I can say is that it always helps to never leave them without praying with them. It’s a supernatural and encouraging burden-easer (even if slightly).
The Lord calls us to weep when others are weeping and rejoice when others rejoice (Romans 12:15). This is something that He wants us to take literally. Not one of us living today are here for our own selves or purposes; we are alive to be a blessing to others and to love on them—it’s selfish to think otherwise.
Since mankind was made after God’s likeness and image, we are to mirror Him and His heart. Had He of thought, “Hey, I’m alive for Myself”, none of us would be here right now! But because He is extraordinarily exceptional, He created us, being a blessing to Him, He to us, and us to others. And when we experience that empathy of feeling the heartache of another, we’re experiencing the heart of the Father.