Just Show Up! …Hello Hump Day Readers. I have an encouraging devotion to “get you over the hump” on Hump Day! Maybe the beginning of your week started going downhill quickly, or it was just so busy you’re not sure what day it is today! This sweet story came from one of my daily history emails which I love. It is about Albert Einstein! I’ve read a lot about him in terms of his gift of physics, math, and wisdom, but in this history tidbit they revealed a tender and loving side of this ‘giant of a man’ that touched my heart. So here goes:

Albert Einstein’s beloved wife, Elsa meant the world to him. She was a divorcee and actually a second cousin to Albert, who himself had divorced as well. They married in 1919 and were deeply in love. With stepdaughters Ilse and Margot, the Einsteins formed a close-knit family. Although Albert and Elsa did not have any children together, Albert treated Ilse and Margot as his own. Elsa spent most of her marriage with Albert acting as his gatekeeper, protecting him from unwelcome visitors and charlatans, encouraging him in the hard work of a physicist and mathematician in times of war. It was not long after they migrated from Germany to New Jersey, when Elsa developed a swollen eye and was diagnosed with heart and kidney problems that doctors said would cut her life short. When Elsa was diagnosed, Einstein decided to spend much of his time in his studies and a lot of time in prayer. He believed “strenuous intellectual work and looking at God’s nature are the reconciling, fortifying yet relentlessly strict angels that shall lead me through all of life’s troubles”. Elsa died after a painful illness in December 1936.

Einstein was devastated. He always said “Elsa is my rock” and he felt life just stopped for him. Then his sister moved in to help with the household. For 14 years she cared for him, allowing his valuable research to continue. When she suffered a stroke and lapsed into a coma, Einstein spent two hours every afternoon reading aloud to her. She gave no sign of understanding, but he read anyway. If she understood anything, she understood that he believed she was worth his time and his love. He did what love does – he showed up.

Is this not a tender story? I had never read this before and many said Einstein was an atheist, but he wasn’t. He admitted he was also searching, but he knew there was something greater in the universe than humans. That seeking gave him the inner kindness to be kind to others and many were astounded at his tender care of his sister.

So, do you believe in your kids, your friends, your family? Today so many people are “on their own” with little interaction with parents/others, and way too much action with social media. I watched a program about what kids say about parents. One 11-year-old boy said “my dad always says I’ll see you at the game” (he played in Little League) but he never shows up—he never comes. I wonder if I’m not good enough for him.” That broke my heart and I blurted out, Come on dad, show up!

If you say you believe in someone then show up. Maybe you can’t get to all their activities, but for heaven sakes make an effort. I grew up in a resort; my folks were busy but they always made time to show up at the activities I were involved in. I would look to see them and inwardly I whispered “it’s OK now, they’re here.” They would root for me. I saw their smiles and thumbs-up. As an adopted kid—I was loved beyond measure!

Psalm 71:18 [NLT] says: “Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.” In other words, this means I need to show up for others no matter my age. I need to care and encourage, I need to be there with God’s love and grace no matter what.

Today, so many people from young to old are just over-looked.  My folks always wanted to bring the best out in me and they did because they showed up. Today, when I am teaching, Al often comes with me. I see him as I am teaching and that same emotion comes out, “it’s OK, he’s here.” Friends, if you want to bring out the best in someone, then just show up! And when you do, the best in you will come out, too. AMEN.