After a difficult day, I went for a long walk. I listened to a podcast, letting my mind and my legs wander through the city. In this podcast, Brené Brown, a professor, researcher and all-around good human, shared a word and its meaning that stuck with me: Acompañar, to accompany or “to walk with.” It comes from a “religious tradition of not getting behind and pushing those we’re helping and not getting in front of them and pulling, but walking with someone.”
The best way to care for someone is just to be with them
Many have struggled to care for the needs of others, spiritually and emotionally, during this pandemic. Everything feels outside of our control and being present with others, to support them through grief or heartbreak, has been physically limited. However, acompañar is what is asked of us.
Those who work as chaplains or in hospice do this so beautifully. Spiritually and emotionally, we can be with others. We can listen, love and pray with and for others. We may not be able to solve their grief or difficulties, push or pull them, but we can walk with them through this season.
God reminds us of his presence and consistently walks with us
God does this with us, doesn’t he? God does not promise a life free of fear, heartbreak, loss or illness, but he does reassure us that he will be with us. Whether it was a multitude of people, such as the Israelites, or an individual, such as David, God consistently reminded them and reminds us of his presence. He is walking with us.
There is peace and hope in acompañar. May God strengthen you today as you walk with others.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” –Deuteronomy 31:8
Written by Amy Curtis, director of counseling at Buckner International.