Publisher and Publication Date: Crossway. 2016.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Compassion. Healing.
Rating: Recommend. Excellent.
Audience: This book is for Christians who want to minister to those in crisis.
This book was recommended by, Crystal M. Sutherland, author of Journey to Heal. I recently took part and became certified as a mentor to sexual abuse survivors through Sutherland’s training program @ “Journey to Heal Ministries“.
When I think about “being there” for a person during a crisis, I think about a story mother told me. September 1, 1957 my mother’s young handsome husband went wade fishing at Galveston. He stepped into a sink hole and drowned. He was in the prime of life. He was an avid outdoorsman. He was an excellent swimmer. Mother was at home fixing dinner and had baked a cake. She and their three children were waiting on him to return, and they’d sit down to eat as a family. He didn’t return. Instead, a family friend came to the house to inform mother Walter had drowned. His body had not been recovered. Mother took to her bed. People came and went out of their home. Family cared for the three young children. Three days later his body was recovered. During the those three days mother stayed in bed. The sister of a friend sat beside mother on the bed. This woman never said a word, but mother knew she was there. Mother was comforted by the presence of another person who was quiet and calm.
In the book Being There, the above story I shared is an example of helping another person during a crisis, just quietly being there.
Dave Furman has a health crisis in his life. His story of the crisis, and the things he learned, is passed to the readers.
Furman is transparent in the stages he went through. For example, feeling sorry for self, the thoughts of, “if only.”
He states, “weep honestly at the loss we’ve experienced.” He is quick to remind us we have, “hope in our loss.” What is that hope? God is always with us, He will not abandon us. Secondly, we have the hope that this life is not all there is, “pain and suffering are not the final word in our lives.” We have the hope of eternity with Jesus Christ.
Page 37 held a gem. I loved this teaching: “We are armed with the Spirit of God.” Don’t be put off by friends who have “negative responses.” Be forgiving. Be loving; and remember God’s love and grace is never ending.
Chapter eight gives several examples of practical ways to help the suffering.
I read this book prior to another book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller. Both books compliment one another because of a similar theme: the reality of real suffering in this life that is unavoidable.
Grow in your love for the Lord, and you will grow in your love for the hurting. If you’re going to help the hurting, you need to walk with God. Page 43.
Being There is a practical book for the reader, not just a memoir of a person who is living through a health crisis.