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Teaching Idea: Serving Others By Just Being There

A volunteer at Mother Theresa’s home for those dying of AIDS said he felt completely useless since he could do nothing for those dying or for their physical pain.  He could just sit with them.

Mother Theresa said, “What were Mary and the others doing at the foot of the cross?”

Here’s a way to demonstrate how just being there can relieve the suffering of others.

Supplies:  old fashioned clothes pins with springs – one for each class member.

Have each class member use the right hand to hold the clothes pin so it’s open (pressing down on the ends and compressing the spring.)  Tell them not to change hands but to just keep holding it open while you read them a story.

Now read them a nice long inspirational story of service and caring.  When you notice some are starting to look pained pause your reading.

Tell them to keep holding the clothes pin open.  BUT now take the left hand and wrap it around the right hand holding it gently.

left hand holding the right hand holding the clothes pinNotice the relief.  The right hand is still holding the clothes pin and still doing the work of holding it open.  But the left hand gives support just by being there.

You can then finish reading the story. (you might need more than one to be sure they “feel the pain.”)

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