Following the theme of “help” from these past few bogs, I continue to think about help, especially if I am in the position to give it.
The needs of others come to me swiftly and clearly; you can’t miss them if you live at all in community with people. I can almost guarantee that anyone reading this can name at least five people near them who need help–if not ten. And you might be reading this in need of help yourself.
How do you know what to give, who to bless, or where? How much? How often?
Recently, a woman in pain began to share her story, and I immediately felt like a huge wave came over me. It was suffocating and terrifying. Soon we were both drowning.
But then I remember that, at least from a rescue standpoint, someone needs to approach from a position of safety and security, wading in carefully in order to provide aid. Two drowning people can’t save anyone.
I remember a great coaching question I had forgotten over the years. When someone comes to you in pain, you can ask this:
“How are you taking care of yourself? What steps are you taking to heal?”
It’s an empowering question. Rather than making ourselves the hero as the provider of help, we empower. We aren’t the source of healing; God is. We also know that if we ask what a person has in terms of a plan, we can step in to what God is already doing. We can offer help according to what the person needs, not what we assume we should or can provide.
Next, I remember this question:
“What do we need to pray for? If you could ask Jesus for to meet your deepest need right now, what is that need?”
I have so much to learn when it comes to truly helping others. I have so much to learn as I think about therapeutic conversations. I’m so quickly overwhelmed, so quickly codependent, and so quickly rushing in.
Empower instead. Ask for their plan, and then see where you fit in. And always redirect conversations to the Healer, the One we go to in prayer.