“To live thoughtfully with Christlike love we must allow ourselves to be disturbed by the grotesque realities surrounding us and sympathetically enter into the nightmarish suffering of others.” — Gregory Boyd
Have you ever had a nightmare where you’re in danger and try to scream for help but no sound comes out? You have a sense of panic, terror and fear and then you wake up. You are so relieved that it was not real and only a dream.
Try to imagine what it is like to live out that experience during the day on a daily basis and you can’t wake up from it. Your mind is immersed in pain and you are gripped by anxiety, fear and terror that you so desperately want to escape from but you can’t. You seem to be paralyzed and unable to give a voice to this suffering.
Even worse is when you struggle to eek out a faint cry for help and no one responds or they respond in a detrimental way. The cry for help then becomes less and less and the pain of living becomes more and more as you feel all alone in the nightmare that is your life.
Is there someone in your life who is crying out for HELP to ease the pain and you are not listening closely enough?
“…Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” ~ Philippians 2:4 (NKJV)
Reflections on Cry for Help
When our lives are running smoothly and things are going well, the good times can actually desensitize us to the reality of hard times in the lives of others all around us. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we would admit that we don’t like to be reminded of how hard it was before. We think that by only thinking happy thoughts and having fun that we can make it like the hard times never happened. It almost seems like if we play at a more feverish pitch, we believe that will ward off trying times and misery in the future. If only that were true!
The truth is that all of us will have good times and bad times. The Bible says that God the Father “sends rain on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45 NKJV)
Whether we are currently going through a bad time or a good time, normally the other kind will roll around pretty soon. Avoiding reminders of what it was like during the bad times will not ward off anything except a caring spirit and compassionate heart.
What if everyone we knew avoided or ignored us when we were going through some of our hardest trials? What if we truly were all alone on our own life’s journey?
We want others to “be there” for us but we often don’t want to turn around and “be there” for other people, especially if they were not the ones who were there for us. (If we don’t “owe” them anything.)
What would happen if we just responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit towards everyone around us instead of selecting the choice few “worthy” of our love and support? I genuinely believe that, if we all obeyed God immediately and consistently, there would not be lonely people in this world unless those people pushed away the compassionate ones reaching out to them.
Let us be challenged by the charge in Philippians 2:4 above and reach out a helping hand as God leads us instead of when we “feel like it.”
Prayer for the hurting person:
Help this person who is desperately in need of encouragement to hold onto You until other believers respond to Your leading to reach into her pain and lift her out of the pit. May she feel Your love and compassion at times when she is alone and may she see Your love in action through the compassion and support of Your children during this trying time.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer for the helper:
Help us to realize that You put the Golden Rule in the Bible for a reason. Help us be aware that Your will for us is to genuinely treat others like we want others to treat us. Help us not to judge but just obey Your Holy Spirit’s prompting. Help us hear Your voice and respond Immediately and with a cheerful, loving and encouraging spirit. Help us to remember that, but for Your grace, we would be the one in need.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.