[Note: The trafficking of Korean, Chinese, Filipino and other women called “Comfort Women” was a heinous act committed by the Japanese military during WWII. I refuse to let this hijack the word comfort so I’m reclaiming the word for this post on Comfort People.]
Just as there is comfort food we are lavishly consuming during this pandemic, there are people in the world who automatically bring us comfort. Merely the presence of some people – even on Zoom – has a calming effect.
Just as different people are comforted by different kinds of foods, we are individually comforted by different kinds of people. I have a friend known for her creative snarkitude and yet I am thoroughly comforted by her photos and tweets. She probably ticks off a lot of people but I feel peace in her presence.
The opposite of Comfort People might just be Toxic People and I wonder if they know who they are. Maybe I am toxic to some folks. I hope not, but if I am, it’s okay not to hang out with me or return my calls.
Toxic people – if I can be so bold – are exhausting. They suck the life out of you with no self-awareness. They (we?) never ask “How are you doing?” Or maybe they ask and don’t seem to pay attention to the answer.
Enough about toxicity. Let’s get back to comfort.
Comfort people bring relief without saying or doing much. It’s who they are. Their very presence is soothing.
I believe Jesus could be a demanding friend, but that doesn’t exempt him from also being a comforting presence. Some of my most demanding friends are comforting because they are demanding. (You will get past this. You’ve got this. Get out there and show the world that you can kick some toxicity @^*.)
I am blessed with lots of people who bring comfort into my life by their mere presence. On the Zoom calls I find that some faces bring me deep joy. I miss seeing them up close and personal.
As many of us are reaching our limits in terms of Zoom calls and working from home and wearing masks in public and craving food from restaurants not doing take out and wondering how much longer we can look presentable without a haircut, consider asking yourself this:
Am I toxic person? Am I am comfort person? What can I do to focus more on the needs of others and stop feeling sorry for myself?
Whether quarantines will soon be lifted or not, we owe it to each other and to our Maker do try to bring more comfort into this world. The suffering in this pandemic is uneven. How can we support those who are suffering the most?
Image of people who bring immediate comfort to me: John Lewis, Atticus Finch, Thelma Adair, Mr. Rogers, Mom. I was on a Zoom Call with Dr. Adair last week and my heart is still rejoicing. She will be 100 years old this August.
Truth is I am/have been both. There are people who find me a comfort and those who think I’m devilish, and they’re right. I try to be kind and have learned to bite my tongue rather than lash out as I did when I was younger. Maybe an advantage to aging. You are a comfort, Jan. Hope the settling in is going all right. From living far apart to constant togetherness might be an adjustment. Praying all is well. ❤️
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Thank you so much.
Thanks for being one of mine!
I think the stress of these days is exacerbating the tendencies we all have. We seem to all be “more” of however we used to be, more extreme, or more comforting, or more insecure, etc. . I’m trying to attend to that, so the “more” I’m putting out in the world is the good parts of me. With lots of grace to go around.
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I find your blog a comfort to read. I met you in person when you spoke at our church and liked what I saw and heard so came here to check out your blog. You have not disappointed.