Some days are just plain rough. You know those days: in the mail, you get notice of your termination and now you’re unemployed. Or you get notice your spouse is suing for divorce.  Or those phone calls that your granddaughter had an emergency and is in the hospital. Or maybe it’s about your Alzheimer mom.  Or it’s the vet telling you maybe it would be best to put down your 13 year old dog with the neurological problem -- but she’s been part of the scene for 13 years. Yep, it’s a bad day when these kinds of things happen.

You know those days. They don’t seem to get lighter as we age.  In the “good ol’ days” we could have a bad hair day or maybe burn the toast – and it was a rough day.  No, we’re way, way beyond those kinds of triggers to a bad day. But isn’t it nice to once in a while have someone who lifts your hands up in prayer with you, who encourage you, who assure you that they’ll be with you every step of the way – even when you feel you can’t take another step by yourself. Praise God, praise Yehowah for people like that.

You and I have been called to be someone who comes alongside. In the Greek it was called a“parakletos”, a comforter.  We know the Holy Spirit is a parakletos, but did you know YOU are called to be one as well?  This is what “church” – actually I prefer to say being part of the “called-out ones”, the ekklesia – is largely all about!  We are family! We family of the Household of God stand up for each other and are there for each other. We fight for and defend each other. We tell gossips and those who spread people’s sins like candy -- that we recognize where they’re coming from: they’re getting orders from their leader, Satan, The Accuser of the brethren.

But most of all, we can help so many by simply “being there” when we sense someone is struggling. The arm on the shoulder, the quick squeeze of their shoulder, the quick note on Facebook, or the unexpected assuring phone call can mean so much. Let’s get good at this. Our brothers and sisters need it so badly.

To learn more about becoming a comforter, a parakletos, someone coming alongside – please hear the sermon “Be a Parakletos”, February 2011.  You’ll be glad you did. We’re learning to be family who stand up and alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Be a parakletos.