When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordechai, she was in great distress. (Est. 4:4)

SHE NOTICED STELLA’S DOWNCAST expression as soon as she arrived at work that morning. Her usually bubbly coworker seemed to carry an unusual weight about her that day, and she wasn’t really speaking with anyone as she went about her work. When Adair asked around if anyone knew whether Stella was okay, nobody else seemed to have noticed.

Adair looked for ways to come alongside Stella when she could—grabbing her a coffee, bringing papers from the copier, and fielding some complaints in her place. But it wasn’t until she plunked herself down beside Stella in the lunchroom that she really took in the gravity of the situation. Stella looked at her with bloodshot eyes and opened up about her son’s recent diagnosis. And, though Adair didn’t have any wise words for her in that moment, the empathy she showed as she held Stella’s hand and listened spoke grace to her friend.

God has made us for community, and he has placed us alongside people who need true friendships. His Spirit in us can give us the discernment to notice when people are hurting and need a listening ear and the courage to offer ourselves. And sometimes our empathy is the most generous gift we can offer. Who are the people in your life you can listen to today?

Offer friendship to the people around you.

Elizabeth Rhyno is a wife, mom, and worship leader. Elizabeth chooses to pursue the Lord and trust his plans are perfect at all times.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.