Wendy van Eyck is married to Xylon, who talks non-stop about cycling, and makes her laugh. She writes for anyone who has ever held a loved one’s hand through illness, ever believed in God despite hard circumstances or ever left on a spontaneous 2-week holiday through a foreign land with just a backpack. You can follow Wendy’s story and subscribe to receive her free ebook, “Life, life and more life” at ilovedevotionals.com. She would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.
For almost two years my husband has been treated for a cancer called Hodgkins Lymphoma. As part of that treatment he’s received 18 sessions of chemotherapy.
He reacted differently to each chemotherapy session. We learnt that we had to take each one as it came.
After chemo my husband found maintaining conversation tiring.
In the hour it took to drive home we would say very little. I would squeeze his hand, turn on the radio and find the shortest route home.
This silence would continue for as long as he needed it, punctuated only by necessary conversation: “Do you need something to eat?” or “Can I bring your medication?”
At first I found the silences hard.
I felt like I needed to fill them, I kept trying to find the words that would make everything better, the syllables that would make his cancer go away.
Then I realised there was beauty in the silence.
Often in the days following chemo my husband and I lay next to each other in silence for ages. Sometimes we would hug or hold hands.
Other times he would request I sat in the same room because somehow just being there helped him feel better.
I wouldn’t talk about my day or ask about his, we didn’t talk about how we wish he had health, or that it looks like we need a new washing machine.
We were just still in each other’s presence.
I used to think that to help him through his treatment I should do stuff for him but I learnt that the one thing that helped the most, that made him happiest, and eased the hard times, was simply being there.
Maybe our presence is what makes God happiest. (tweet this)
Busy lives, kind deeds, reading the bible, those are all good things. But perhaps what God really wants is for me to crawl up next to him and say, “Do you mind if I just sit here with you?”
God doesn’t need fancy words to know how I feel about him. (tweet this)
Sometimes God’s heart is warmed simply because I want to be near him.
Ponder: Do you feel comfortable being silent with God?
Prayer: Take a few minutes to sit in silence with God today.
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- This was orginally published on my site in November 2013 to read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com