Have you ever seen someone and just known that they were sad? And I don’t mean 5 year olds either—I mean someone who may actually be trying to keep their emotions to themselves, but are simply failing to do so because the enormity of their situation.
Okay, so you may need to think about that question a little before moving on. My next question is another “thinker” and I want you to be ready to process this at your own speed.
Supposing your response to my first question was a resounding ‘yes’ and you quite possibly even have the exact person(s) in mind; my next question is for you.
Did you know in that exact moment that you could have helped? That you could’ve
“fixed it” but you just doubted whether or not you should pry? You didn’t want to cause any additional hurt or embarrassment?
So, maybe you smiled, or just “graciously” allowed them their privacy.
Some advice givers say things like: “You never know how far a smile goes…” and “One smile can brighten someone’s day…” — I don’t denounce these sweet and convenient sayings, however, I am going to accuse them of being cop-out, half-way solutions, that are more of a “feel good” excuse for the ‘observer’ than they are a comfort or aid to anyone whom is obviously, deeply, and profoundly upset. I mean, c’mon, if I am seriously messed up about something, and you SMILE at me and walk on….I don’t typically feel…BETTER.
I definitely feel judged, and more than likely condescended. Pitied. But not better.
So, now that I have sufficiently stepped on some people’s toes, and (that includes self castigation, because I am guilty of this behavior too.) probably lost some readers along the way—I would like to get to the thing I was thinking about as I awoke thinking this morning.
You don’t have to wonder if you can help. YOU. CAN. HELP.
- People need to be LOVED in individual ways. Because they are individuals, and they are all different. But ALL of them need to be loved.
- Each one of us IS an individual — we hurt and cry for various reasons, and we show it in various ways. We SOLVE problems in a plethora of fashions, and we think and feel, well, DIFFERENTLY. (And this is a beautiful phenomena.) It means we EACH have what it takes to be someone else’s personal saviour. We are called to be like Christ, so this means we MUST as a mandate be ready to step out of our comfort zones, and into someone else’s un-comfort zone—to make a difference. Just. Like. Jesus. Did.
That means— You HAVE what it takes to help. You HAVE what it takes to ‘fix-it’ and to contribute to an otherwise impossible situation that someone may feel buried by and incapacitated.
I am about to make a HUGE statement. You MAY not like it—but here it comes anyway: (So, get ready!)
The worst feeling in this world is not the loss of a loved one. (That’s normal, and it is part of the circle of this fallen life-system.)
The worst feeling in this life, is feeling that you have a HOLE in your little world, and not knowing what shape that hole is in. Meaning, you can feel the void, and you know it seems like a big one, but you have no idea where it is, (sometimes you don’t realize where it’s come from) or how to fill it. It’s a feeling of being broken, and empty, and no matter how hard you try to fill that hole—nothing helps. You start to see yourself as hopeless, un-helpable, and eventually un-loveable.
My father once told me: “There is nothing so sad as the death of a dream.”
I’m not sure I understood at the time, but I think I know now what he meant. And I found a verse that backs it up!
Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (NIV)
What he was speaking of was a simple way (A man’s statement, summing up everything I am writing in this one blog!) of saying,
When we lose sight of those hopes, those dreams, and those things that makes us so uniquely us; we feel lost, alone, and unable to help ourselves. We also feel misunderstood, and as if: “I can’t figure myself out and why I am feeling like this, so how on earth could anyone else be of any help?”
These are the moments we were created for!!! We are UNIQUELY designed to HELP in those moments—IF we do not lose heart!
Galatians 6:9 says, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we do NOT give up.” (NLT)
So—I have to address the ideas that the devil is throwing at us right now as I try to encourage us to do the right thing, the loving thing. He is saying in our ears, “But what if: they brush you off, and you feel silly for trying?” “What if: they don’t let you in, and they just pretend nothing is wrong and you make them feel worse?” “What if: they become angry and fuss at you or yell in your face for butting in?”
To all of that, I say: SO WHAT?!?! What if you were the only person who cared to disrupt their sadness? What if secretly that’s what they were waiting for?!?! What if the devil was just whispering to them that, “No one cares about your obvious pain.” “You aren’t worth the effort to anyone.” “You might as well just stay home, and play sick—maybe you should just die, maybe they won’t notice until you are gone. Then they will be sorry.”
Oh. My. God. Just pretending to be the devil in order to write those lines makes me realize how much of an a$$hole he is!! And that’s another ‘hole’ in our lives that simply needs to be dealt with by pursuing a lifelong love of Jesus. (See blog post from 1/31/17)
We. Have. What. It. Takes. In the words of a friend whom I’ve only met once, (but she totes dug my shoes…)
“You Matter.” –Angela Maiers
We. Can. Defeat. Him. — Maybe just one person at a time, but who are we kidding? We don’t want to try and beat a whole army of sad people!?! One is a large enough battlefront. Truly, one person who has been left to their sadness for long enough, and is so entrenched in the lies the devil has told them, can be enough of a challenge to dig out. Especially if sadness has become their habit. We need to stop thinking in terms of numbers and start putting value on each other as individuals. The spiritual battle is not won in the streets, it’s won within our heart of hearts. Not the “feelings” but the soul. We do have what it takes. Why don’t we act like it?
I mean, not some heroic inclination to “save the day” every time we see someone in distress. But wait—yes, yes I do. That is exactly what I mean. I feel it sometimes. The insane idea that I can solve the problem. Why on EARTH do I feel that way sometimes? Am I crazy? Or is it a glimmer of something powerful and good inside of me? Why don’t we act on those inklings? I know I am a compassionate person, so it can’t be that I think that just out of pride!? Lord knows I’ve failed enough times in my life that I learned my lesson about acting like Miss “all that and a bag of potato chips.” That attitude works on the movie screen but it’s come back to bite me in the took us more times that I’d prefer to recall. Nope, humility is safer…so where is that urge to save the day coming from?
I think (my opinion) is that God has woven that little thread of himself within all of his creation…and I think heeding it, when it flares up, is a wise, and good, and Godly thing for us to do.
So, I invite you to join me on this adventure! Don’t look down on yourself; you were created in the likeness of God. “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
So when that shows through—you should run towards it! We have exactly what it takes. No more excuses. God put us on this earth for more than one reason—So let’s do this!