Hello again, blogging world (and those of you non-bloggers who happen to have stumbled upon this). It’s time for a bit of a “serious” post, and I hope you’ll continue with me to the end of this post. It’s something that’s been heavy on my heart for a while and I think I just need to spit it out!
I sat down for some delicious BBQ chicken flatbread pizza last night after Bible study with one of my best friends, and we had a really great discussion about how to effectively share God’s love with the hurting friends in our lives. Lately I’ve been struggling with the difficult balance of being too concerned with other people’s affairs or not showing enough concern, therefore seeming insensitive or aloof. There are a lot of people in my everyday life that are going through BIG things… by “BIG” things, I mean the loss of a sibling, boyfriend relapsing into drug use, premature babies with health issues, abusive relationships, cancer… the list goes on and on. And this is just my everyday life… it doesn’t include those who I don’t see often but still keep in touch with, or casual acquaintances. My problem is this: how do I show love to the people that I so deeply care about without drawing undesired attention to their situation? I think we can all relate with the awkwardness we feel when someone starts crying in the middle of a conversation that was meant to be uplifting, or the “elephant in the room” experiences. I have been running into a LOT of these moments lately, and I think God is really prompting me with something bigger. These hurting friends NEED love shown to them, and why should I care so much about my embarrassment or my lack of words?
I guess what I’m really getting at is this: as followers of Jesus Christ, WE can be hope to those who are lacking it. Because technology is SO readily available (I mean, come on. I can pick up my iPhone and my sister can walk me through her new nursery… even though she lives 4 hours away), it’s extremely tempting for us to simply write a quick note of condolence, sympathy, or a passive “I’ll being praying for you!” on someone’s Facebook wall or Twitter. First of all, when you write these things, do you ever really keep that person in your prayers? If you do, kudos to you! I’ll be honest… I usually don’t! I click “post” and go on with my day. As embarrassing as that is, and as guilty as it makes me feel, I think that I’m probably not alone in that.
What would happen if we truly invested in the lives of those who are deeply hurting? The Lord gave us friends to live life with… not just to see movies with and have someone to shop with. Anytime that I have been in a difficult situation, I have undeniably appreciated the time and the company of friends who made an effort to take me to dinner, come over to my house, or just to make a phone call. Yes, Facebook is convenient for catching up with people you haven’t seen in a while or for organizing get-togethers, but connecting with the deeply hurting should be something we invest in outside of the world wide web. Don’t you agree?
I want to challenge you to think of some people you know that are going through difficult things. How can you be a blessing to them? Maybe it’s listening to them over a cup of coffee, or preparing a nice Minnesota hotdish. Hey, you could even drop by with some flowers and a sweet mix tape (I mean… CD…). Be creative! God gave us friends to go through the good and the bad with. Don’t just gloss over their needs. Really show them that you care and that you’re along for the ride with them, no matter how difficult. When one is too hurting to have the strength to believe the Lord can move their mountain, WE need to come alongside them to have the faith they simply cannot muster up.
So, whaddya say? Start clearing your calendars and stop facebooking! Let’s be hope to our hurting friends!
Love you all