There is an old joke that tells of a person giving directions to their apartment. He tells the friend, when you get to my building, ring the doorbell with your elbow. When you hear the buzzer, push the door open with your toe and your hip. When you get to my apartment door, knock with your foot, and I’ll let you in. Confused, the friend says, “Why would I have to do all that with my feet and body?” To which he replies, “What?… You’re coming empty handed?!!!”
It’s funny, but I’m learning (Oh,I hope I’m learning), that maybe the best thing we can do is come empty handed. I know it’s easy to shy away from difficult times. Not knowing what to say, what to bring. People don’t always need you to say the right things, maybe they just need you to listen. People don’t need you to bring something, but reach out your empty hand and hold theirs. Give a gentle touch.
It’s not easy being human. It takes a lot of strength. But if we can use that strength to be gentle, to be kind, oh, how human we could be! Empty hands. Full hearts.