There are often times we wish we could fix the problems of a friend or the pain of a loved one. Many times we’ve tried. We’ve offered solutions. We’ve attempted to make the counseling appointment for them. Our intentions are good. We want to see our family member happy again, or we want the best for our neighbor. But what if there’s another way.
What if fixing the hurt is not our role? What if they need comfort rather than critique? What if they need our empathy more than our advice?
Barbara Johnson once wrote, “We can never untangle all the woes in other people’s lives. We can’t produce miracles overnight. But we can bring a cup of cool water to a thirsty soul, or a scoop of laughter to a lonely heart.”
A cup of cool water could look like sitting with someone in the midst of their hurt. It could be acknowledging that what they are going through is hard. It might be affirming their strength and ability to handle the situation. It could be listening with your whole heart and thanking them for trusting you with their story.
A scoop of laughter could be an unexpected card in the mail or dropping off freshly-baked cookies. It might be an offer to watch the kids for an evening. It could be an impromptu coffee date.
Prayer is also a powerful way to help—whether on your own, or with the hurting person. Ask God to provide His comfort, peace and wisdom to the person and the circumstances.
Often times we feel the need to do something, to be a helper. How to help in the best way can take reflection and discernment.
If you’re interested in learning how to better care for people in your life, we’d love to support you. Connect with us through our online form or call 330.345.7949.