The saying; “Hurting people hurt people.” is true enough…when we hurt, we can lash out without meaning to or simply being insensitive because of our own stuff. That’s a given really…and most of the time, we can accept that this is the case and we will be both the giver and receiver of this kind of hurt. Recently, however, I discovered something – and the truth be known, this has been happening in my life for a very long time – without me even knowing it: that I have been wanting to help – when in fact I have been hurting others. This phrase says it: “Helping people can hurt people!”
If you are the kind of person who likes to help others, you feel their struggle and pain and really just want to get in there and help. You want to share your own personal experiences of what you found useful to you – which is not a bad thing – by the way. You just HAVE TO help them….somehow!
If that is you, than please hear me – that is a wonderful desire to have and yes, a God-given gift of empathy! God will use that gift in you for certain…there is however, another dynamic going on and that is: your desire to help can outweigh God’s desire to do the helping Himself – without your help (necessarily). It is a great dilemma, that we may be ready, willing and able to help and yet God says:
“DO NOT HELP right now…you are helping by just BEING…not saying, not doing, not even thinking….just BE STILL and know that I AM GOD and listen.”
That could be the greatest help you can be right now, in this moment. Don’t try and work it out…don’t try and come up with an assistance package or an answer…just BE STILL and know.
There is also, a flip-side – there are people that have understood this and taken it to the other end of the scale…they have learnt to be quiet and not say anything…and therefore when God has said – SPEAK UP now, they have not. It is a matter of ”knowing” when to speak-up and when to just show-up!
I found myself in a situation earlier today, when someone was speaking and I was interrupting and realised in the midst of it…”just shut-up and listen”…and so I said, “I need to be quiet and listen to you’…and so I did and the other person spoke and it all made sense. I am so grateful that His grace is greatest in my weakness. That His help is ever present. That I don’t always have to help or be helped. The greatest gift I can give and another can give to me is their presence…just being ”there” for and with me.
I know this to be true because God’s greatest gift to us is His Presence…He is Christ Immanuel – God with us! Knowing God is with me and is for me, that He loves me no matter what – this is my greatest joy in life! Then it makes complete sense, that our greatest gift to another is our presence…just ”being” there for them and with them.
That is exactly the gift we have to give each other…the very Presence of God.
God gives us his full attention and his thoughts are not distracted by thinking about how He is going to help us or thinking up a rescue plan or how he will manoeuvre the circumstances or situation to make ”it” alright again. God knows the end from the beginning. He knows the plans He has for us, for good and not for evil. If we would remind ourselves of this in the midst of our wanting, needing and desiring to help…then we will stand confident that He is present with us, with our friend in need and He is able to do above and beyond whatever we could possibly hope, dream or imagine…and so, we can let Him show up, listen up and speak up…in and through us as He directs. Now…that is what I am practising…and it is much more helpful without hurting anyone.
“God help us to practice being in your Presence so that we can continue to be still and be present with others…so Your Presence brings all that we and they need from your Loving hand.”
URLOVD immensely intimately!
~ Shelley Weeks