Health-Giving Effect of Sharing “Crumbs of Comfort”

Health-Giving Effect of Sharing “Crumbs of Comfort”

© GLOW IMAGES Models used for illustrative purposes

A guest post written by Robert Nafie from Arcadia, California

Have you ever casually listened to conversations around you, but that don’t include you? Most often we’re engaged in our own activities and our own thoughts, so it isn’t something that happens intentionally. Well, it happened to me recently while sitting at the airport waiting for a flight. Of course, we’re instructed to arrive in plenty of time, which means that after breezing through security there is ample time to wait. If it’s a popular flight, you’ll find yourself seated in close proximity to people you don’t know and within earshot of a number of conversations.

On this occasion I was eating a sandwich but was aware that someone two seats over was engaged in a serious phone conversation. At the end of the somewhat lengthy call she gave a big sigh and a shrug of the shoulders. It seemed natural to quietly ask if everything was all right. While I was holding to the spiritual understanding that everything was all right, my question opened the door and she explained that she was on her way across the country to attend a funeral. Her plane ticket was not an easy expense for her, and the time away from work was coming at exactly the wrong time. She was going to lose an important account that she had worked so hard to develop. She shared that she wasn’t even a believer in funerals, and frankly resented going.

I listened and wondered how I could respond in a way that would bring comfort and peace. I remembered a hymn that I found helpful:

O longing hearts that wait on God
Through all the world so wide;
He knows the angels that you need,
And sends them to your side,
To comfort, guard and guide.

When she asked me what I would do, I responded that as a Christian Scientist, I had come to rely on the statement, “Whatever it is your duty to do, you can do without harm to yourself.” She asked, “Where did you hear that?” That led to a conversation about health researcher and the founder of the Christian Science church, Mary Baker Eddy, and her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She said, “I could really use that, if it were true!” I said, “See for yourself,” and jotted down on the corner of my napkin. She seemed much happier as she headed toward her gate.

Everyday conversations with people can lead to giving “…crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table.” A long exchange isn’t necessary, and sometimes…only a “crumb” is needed.

About the author

Guest We are pleased to present Notes from the Field authors, who are assistant committees and church members in the Southern California region; and Notes from The Mother Church authors, who are Committees from the United States and around the world, as well as the Federal Committee on Publication office.


  1. Barbara Nichols says

    This is a wonderful example of helping others as a good Samaritan would do. Thank you for sharing that wonderful example. We can all be better at sharing those crumbs of comfort in so many ways when we hear others expressing a need in any conversation. I thank God each time I have this opportunity.

  2. Janelle says

    I love this. It reminds me that even small amounts (crumbs) of caring can make bring sunshine into another’s day.

  3. Rhonda says

    Thanks for the reminder that just a desire to help will open the way for just the right response…even if it’s brief. (=

  4. Anne Hughes says

    I am just about to take a trip, and I will certainly keep this lovely message in mind. Thank you. Good to know we can listen for how to respond. This kind of sharing always blesses the giver, as well as the receiver.

  5. Chuck says

    Thanks for the reminder to be open, attentive, and sensitive to the needs of others, including complete strangers. And now that I read that, are there really any strangers?

  6. Branden Potter says

    Our church participated with a car-float, displaying various aspects of our community offerings — especially our youth lecture, “Love’s Divine Adventure”, which was planned for the next day.