Please stop sending prayers for healing and peace over Facebook when you read about a death or some other devastating event.
We hear it over and over again when we are at our lowest possible point in our lives. The trauma of a death, job loss, or divorce has already knocked us down.
If lucky, we might have a few friends that show up and do things to actually help us get through these ordeals.
The people that really want to help will perform actionable items such as offering you suggestions on where to find a job, a place to vent your emotions, company, or food. Sometimes a casserole is enough to make a difference. Doing anything is better than just saying that you will pray for them.
Our society has gotten away with thinking prayer replaces human kindness. I am sure that every downtrodden person appreciates the prayers. However, what they need is human help in addition to any godly request you might offer up in their name. Case in point, sharing something on Facebook will not save someone’s life but donating blood will.
In no way shape or form am I saying that praying is not a good thing. I am stating that it needs to be done in addition to not instead of actually helping. Prayers are not going to feed the hungry. Prayers aren’t going to help the lonely or the grief stricken. At least not right away.
Especially now, when this virus is making us all further apart from each other, we need to come together as humans in a community practicing kindness and empathy.
When you know someone is having a bad time or is at a low point in their life, show up for them. Make your face seen, your voice heard, and make your concern known. The world needs more of that.
We have all heard the saying that God helps those who help themselves. I also believe that God helps those that helps others.
The older I’ve gotten the more I’ve seen the absolute worst character traits in the people surrounding me. Ignoring anything bad around them is the way that used to live their life. Then they’ll show up at church on Sunday and perform some quick prayers and think that fixes everything. They think that washes away the sin of them turning their back on the downtrodden and the lonely.
They are quick to be around a fun person who is on top of the world. They are also the first to leave when ships sink. It would be nice during this time when many lose the friends they thought for others to step up to take their place.
In full disclosure, I am not religious but I am spiritual.
The time has come for us to worry less about proving that we are good Christians or religious. It’s time to start showing it. Whatever religion or non-religion you may practice, being a good person is what it’s all about at the end of the day.
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Here are some actionable items that you can do for someone who is going through a hard time. Please don’t think that you get to decide what is considered a hard time.
Whether it’s a trauma, financial downfall, or a mental illness, we are not put on earth to judge what is hard or not hard for others.
After the death of my sister, the only thing I wanted was to talk to someone about my memories of her and how I felt. But no one really wanted to talk about it and nobody showed up to hear about it. When they did, I could tell it made them uncomfortable so I quickly stopped.
Many people just want to talk and be heard. Being a shoulder to lean on counts for a lot more than you think it does.
Offer to do things with the person going through a hard time. More people than you know are lonely and just want company. Sometimes just being available to someone is the difference between life and death for them.
If someone reaches out to you, reach back. Don’t turn your back.
If someone has lost their job or home, sit down with them and help find the resources available to get them back on their feet.
Every single one of us on this planet has something that we are good at. Sometimes they just have to be reminded of that.
When someone is depressed, they often aren’t up to doing the work that needs to be done. Help them do it.
Anyone with kids knows that parenting does not stop just because you are suffering. It is extremely difficult to be a good parent while you are recovering from trauma, worried about finances, or housing.
Offer to watch the kids. Offer to spend the day or even the weekend with the kids so they can get things done. Maybe they need to grieve in private. Don’t wait for them to ask. Offer your help.
This sounds silly, but I firmly believe that food brings people together and unites them. It brings families together when they sit at the dinner table every night. It brings friends together when they meet for dinner once a month or have cookouts.
Do not underestimate the value of feeding someone going through a crisis. Drop off a meal, host them at your house, or take them out somewhere to get them away from the house.
The simplest way to help someone it’s just to call and ask them if they’re OK and if they need anything. Too many times we know that someone is going through something and we feel like we should leave him alone. That is the last thing we should do.
Call them and call them often. then call them some more. If they want me to pray with them for their healing or anything else, this is the time to do it.
Maybe whoever is in charge of this place will listen to our prayers if we start showing that we mean what we say. That we are going to step up and help, too. Keep praying, but start helping.