Originally published Wednesday, 15 February 2017.
Just yesterday, I met up with a friend. She’s stuck in a foreign prison. She can't find her way out. Jesus saved her for heaven, but on earth, she nearly lives daily in hell. Depression, despair and dejection have claimed her.
When I got home, she was all I could think about. The way her tears broke down her face, the way her heart was spread out on the table and the way it seemed there was no way out.
I wish I had been there for her more.
We live is in a world of hurt; there is no denying that. And, where I sit is in a chair, angry, I can't fix things. I can't rework their lives. I can't restructure the story or rewind the tape. Oh, how badly I want to get up like a super-genie with blonde hair, an explosive attitude, with a good sprinkle of Jesus, and just swipe away the pain, as if I'm sending them back to those smiling pictures of old. I want them to go - back there.
But, I can't swipe it all away. I can't swear it away. I can't superwoman it away either.
Here pain stands.
And so do I.
What will I do this time?
What will you?
Because the pain of the world isn't going anywhere. And neither are needy people. Here we all are. Look left, you'll see her - in the wheelchair. Look right, you'll remember, yes, that person, who lost their spunky 30-year old spouse. Look across the street, you'll see him, the dad with tired eyes and a drug addict child.
See what you try not to see, today.
They walk everywhere. I guess the real question is, what will we do? Will we continue on with our day or will we step into a new way?
10 Ways to Be There For Someone Going through a Hard Time
- Realize you are just as needy. Think you don't have problems? Think again. Meet your neediness first.
- Soften your heart. Let your covering of to-do's fall to the ground. Let judgments go. See afresh.
- Smile. Smile at yourself because today, you are choosing to go a new way. Who you abandoned in the past, is forgiven by Christ Jesus.
- Ask God for His eyes to see.
- Recognize. What you think needs fixing, God may think is downright astonishing when seen from the angle of his great plan.
- Don't be a Mrs. or Mr. Fix it or Madam Know-it-all. Refuse to allow pride to break the stride of God's perfect love and timing.
- Be. Be in the moment with your own feelings and emotions. Listen from this place and love in that space.
- Pray with all your heart, then act as the Holy Spirit leads.
- Expect the Lord to be faithful through your prayers. Even more, expect him to grow you along the way.
- Enjoy. Enjoy what the Lord is doing, even if it looks nothing like you thought.
A weird thing happens as you love, you find out God is loving you. He gives back what you are giving and he gives out what the other person's soul most quenches. All of a sudden, what happens is you - and them - are unified. It is not about pity, judgment or charity, it is about two souls in need, hungering and seeking for more. Drawing strength, building hope and seeking rescue. It is a beautiful thing. It is God in action. It is - lives - coming alive. And - it is never too late to find.
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