So, without getting into too much detail, my mom had a pretty serious surgery earlier this week. She is a nurse practitioner, so she frequents hospitals. But this was her first time actually being a patient in a hospital in 23 years. It was very odd seeing her receive care rather than giving it. To be quite honest, this situation was eerily similar to my From Field to Fan incident. We prayed, we believed, we gave God glory, and He came through in the clutch like He always does. One lesson I learned through this ordeal is that God’s plan really is better than our plan, but that I need to TRUST in His plan even when things look grim.

Another lesson I’ve learned through this hospital stay with my mom is how to suffer with those who are suffering.

Throughout my stay with my mom in the hospital, I saw people come in and out, sit down and send flowers, text and talk. But what stood out to me—and to my mom—the most were those who stayed and listened. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a knock on sending flowers to those who are sick, but there is something special about just sitting down with someone who is suffering. No agenda, no moral obligation, just plain spending time. That time spent together meant the world to my mom, and to me.

There is a tradition in Jewish culture that emulates this very well. Sitting shiva is a week long period in which friends and family sit and mourn with those who have just lost a loved one. Very few words are exchanged. But much time is spent. And this time speaks volumes to those suffering.

Time is quite possibly our most valuable asset. When we spend it with others in their time of need, lives are changed and love is spread. Make sure to spend some time with those in your life who are hurting, and don’t be afraid to sit shiva with them. You will be shocked by the results.

Oh by the way, my mom wore her LFG shirt into surgery too!