Stand By Me

How often does our quest for recognition limit our ability to recognize others fears, discouragements, tensions, and trials?

This weekend in Louisville, KY at Church Hill Downs people will gather to watch “The Run for the Roses”. The Kentucky Derby is an elaborate display of fashionable attire, uniquely designed hats, traditionally prepared Kentucky burgoo paired with iced mint juleps, and surrounded by a beautiful array of fanfare and activities. The atmosphere will be filled with an energetic anticipation unlike any other as the attendees fill the arena to witness this historic moment in racing. Some will come with studied analysis of the horses and riders and some with superstitious premonitions willing to lay down entertaining bets that will wildly race the hearts of these participants.

As the event begins the thoroughbreds will be paraded out with an announcer giving commentary to the inspirational story of each one. Each one of these beautiful animals is paired with another horse that will escort them from the stable to the gate. These escort horses are the calm companions who come along side them supporting them during their training and their races. These “gentle heroes” receive little to no fame or special attention for the supportive roles they carry for these winning thoroughbreds.

Last week I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. This diagnosis left me feeling unsure and scared with little knowledge of the effects of this disease. Within a day of this diagnoses I received a phone call from a woman who brought a calming voice into this jarring experience. She introduced herself to me as my Nurse Ambassador. She let me know that she had been assigned to me to be my “companion” through this journey . She could immediately hear the fear in my voice through the phone. She was quick to bring a sense of ease to the tension within my heart. Even though I couldn’t see her face or feel her hand of comfort I could feel her gift of mercy and love. She quickly became my “gentle hero” in this race!

So often we are consumed with ourselves as we become distracted by all the noise in our desire to become the next “infamous prize winning thoroughbred” that we fail to be the comforting companion we are called to be. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ~ Colossians 3:12 How often does our quest for recognition limit our ability to recognize others fears, discouragements, tensions, and trials?

A piece of advice my mom gave to me many years ago, “In the midst of your storm look to help someone else.” I didn’t appreciate the advice when it was given, but have found myself practicing it and finding God’s comforting strength through it. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I leave you with a song by Ben E. King, “Stand By Me“. These are the words each one of us is crying out for. We were never called to do life alone and even the most independent soul desires someone to hold their hand in times of distress and “fanfare”. As Christians, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are called to be the physical embodiment of God’s calming strength to others amidst the noise that surrounds each one of our lives.