We all live in the centre of our own narrative, but it's helpful to remember that everyone around us has their own story too. It has highs and lows, and sometimes those lows are seemingly invisible. Today we're each going to be a lifesaver for someone going through a tough time at the moment. Ask their friends and family what that person needs instead of asking them, and be sensitive to the person's privacy and dignity.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Romans 12:15 NIV
I sat there as she told me about how her ex-partner used to beat her black and blue; how he once kicked her in the head so much she ended up in a coma. She shared how the cocktail of prescription drugs she now took as a result of the abuse was robbing her of sleep and the ability to think straight. She was overwhelmed and exhausted.
‘God, what on earth do I say?!’
I’d met this lady through my work with Christians Against Poverty (CAP). Her abusive relationship had left her financially and emotionally bankrupt. Praise God she had found us and was beginning to get help with her debts, but right now things were still tough. I believed that God had a plan for her but to say it out loud in that moment just seemed so trite. I had no idea what she’d been through, or what I could say to ease her pain. I just felt so useless.
But then I felt the Holy Spirit encourage me to realise that I didn’t need to fix this: I just needed to give this lady my time, love and compassion. So I did. I didn’t say much, except for a simple prayer at the end, but with tears in her eyes she hugged me tight and thanked me for listening. It didn’t feel like much to me but the fact that someone cared meant a lot to her.
Sometimes we have no words to make things better but I believe we can still offer support by coming alongside people in their pain. In Romans 12:15 Paul says, ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.’ Sometimes people just need to know they’re not alone.
Today's blog was written by Kathy Freeman from Christians Against Poverty.
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