Earlier this week I delivered two lectures at Abilene Christian University regarding the role of a law enforcement chaplain in times of crisis. During the course of conversation a dear friend shared one of those quotes that has a way of staying with you. She said: “You can pretend to care, but you can’t pretend to show up.” Two days later I was reminded that this statement is indeed true…
A friend is caring for his mother in Arizona. She is dealing with serious health issues right now, so he simply needs to be there. He is employed by a major airline, so his job takes him all over the world. And his schedule is erratic at best. But when the work calls, it is time to go. This week he sought out colleagues to cover an assignment, so he could stay with his mother. He even offered to pay someone over and beyond their normal salary as incentive to substitute for him on a particular series of flights.
Enter Kristen. Kristen eagerly volunteered to cover his duties during such a time as this…And no…she will not take the extra funds he offered to pay out of his pocket. She simply wants to help. I have never met Kristen, but I like her. You can’t help but like people who take care of your friends.
Kristen’s actions serve as a reminder that…you can pretend to care, but you can’t pretend to show up. She is going to show up in uniform for a flight going somewhere…The passengers on that flight will have no inkling that she is covering for a man who needs to be with his mother right now. Kristen can’t hide the fact that she cares. She showed up when she was desperately needed…And I have a sneaking feeling that her choice is going to inspire at least one man in Texas who needed a reminder that showing up is really important. Thank you Kristen. Your actions have inspired me to do better.