In the midst of pain of any kind what do you think the greatest need is?
Our responses to people in pain may well be…
“I don’t know what to say.”
“I feel so inadequate”
“I can’t cope when someone else is in pain”
“I feel so sorry for them and sad, so I’m better off not being there”
Hmmm…who is the focus on? yep – that’s right…you – not the person in pain!
So let’s look at it from another angle – their’s…or if you have ever been in pain (assuredly that is all of us) then your’s!
How would you want someone to act towards you, around you, near you when you are in pain? What has helped you? What do you feel like? (ie; food, drink, etc.)
Let’s get really practical here, because then, when the opportunity arises – and it will, if not today definitely tommorrow…we are prepared and ready to be help-full.
We know that covering up our inadequacies with excuses is simply an insult to others and ourselves..we are denying our best foot forward. So, let’s just push past that and go straight for something of worth – something valuable, useful, practical.
This is my motto: BE, GO, DO!
BE yourself – don’t fake it, be honest and admit you don’t cope very well around pain (no matter what kind it is)..and don’t make excuses for not participating. Ask yourself the question: How would I like to be treated if I were in this circumstance OR ask another person what they would do…and see what together you can come up with. Be yourself around the person in pain…don’t pretend you know what it’s like or act as if you are above them, (like you have or are the answer/solution to their problem.) Be honest and say you don’t know what they are going through or if you do, be sensitive in how you tell your own story…be prepared to ask and listen to them if they want to tell you. Ask, Seek, Knock…and the door of opportunity will open for you to grow in understanding and insight. Then..,you will glean what is required of you.
GO do that…what becomes obvious in the listening OR if it’s still not clear. Ask if they need anything or if you can do something for them. If they don’t know. Offer for them to contact you, when they do think of something and give them your cell phone number so they know you really do mean it.
DO that practical thing…whatever they have said they need and you are able. Do it with the generous spirit you offered it, not begrudgingly. Let others know of the need, where appropriate, so that they can join in and participate also. Multiply the love, joy and help!
My personal experiences of being helped in times of crisis, pain and need consist of many and varied assistance including:
Anonymous food parcel at the front door
A smile and a hug
A meal made and delivered
Cash or grocery vouchers
A homemade card
Cookies in a tin
Offer to babysit the kids
The list is more than I can remember…all of these practical helps had an ingredient in them that cannot be bought – Loving care, concern and support. Whether they said it with words or not, I knew and felt I was loved when I received each of them.
Please Note: the gift of money or vouchers is good, however be aware that people in pain are also people that desire to provide for themselves and work for their living. There may be better ways to say you truly care and want to connect than this. Cash can be a cold handout when someone really needs a friendly invitation to a home cooked meal and to be welcomed into your home for true friendship. This is a real challenge in the ”caring” quotient – because it is requiring something of ”ourselves” and interrupting our normal routine – it puts us out. I assure you, the effort in this area will bring more joy than you can imagine – my husband and I have many times, had only our rented home and enough food to share around on that day – the level of joy from opening our hearts and home is immeasurable. Let not our castle’s be so barracked that this avenue of ”help” is blocked. Your home, though it may be your pride and joy is a blessing meant to be shared…which is then multiplied. If it is such a problem…as I once had someone say to me: “Oh I couldn’t invite anyone over, my house is not very nice and anyway, I’m not a good cook.” Friendship and caring concern is not about that…I have often had a quick clean up and bought a cooked chicken and chips just so we could enjoy time with ‘new’ friends in our home. If we are more concerned about our palace than people – then we need to make an instant decision – Just Do It – invite someone over!
Getting close to hurting people…making them feel ‘normal’ and not a leper, an outcast, a hopeless case or a serial ‘needy’ person may take some creativity…and will result in a great deal more blessing than you could think, dream or imagine, for all involved… something like ‘entertaining angels unawares!’
URLOVD so share the Love!