In today's message, I saw an image of an elf standing among the blades of grass in a meadow. He looked like a typical elf -- tiny, with overalls and a pointed hat. When I asked for more details, I heard the word, 'helpers', as in the fairytales where elves sometimes helped distressed people overnight, and when the people woke up, they didn't know who had done all the work.
I think sometimes we are like elves in that when we know someone who is in distress, we can sit with them and hold space for their pain, whether it's physical or emotional.
Many times, though, people will try to 'help' a friend or family member by trying to fix their problem, making suggestions or giving opinions, when all we really need to do is listen and be a sounding board for the distressed person.
For some people, it's not easy to be a good listener, though. In our fast-paced society, we tend to listen only long enough to give a reply and say how we are affected by something instead of being selfless and just sitting with the troubled person.
We can lend our friend or family member our strength by just being ther