A friend shared this quote with me today.  Her gift of these words was in response to a training I did on listening the other night for our Deacons.  What a struggle it is to achieve the type of caring described below, but what a worthy goal!

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
– Henri Nouwen