You would probably be surprised by how much the person sitting next to you at work, on the bus, in the church pew is actually hurting. Our own lives are so rushed that we seldom take the time to enter anyone else’s. And yet, what is more Christ-like for Christians than to come alongside the weary and hurting? You don’t have to have the answers to someone’s problem in order to bring them comfort. There are several ways to be there for them, and most of them just require a willingness to be available.
1. Everyone is Looking for Unconditional Love
Whether the person in your life is a Christian or not, everyone on the planet is looking for unconditional love. Our natural response is to move away from people in pain or in a difficult situation. But as Christians we can look to the example of Jesus who moved toward hurting people and that should be our new default mode as well.
2. Listening Rather Than Fixing is What is Needed
Often we try to move the person forward along the path of healing by offering solutions when what they really need is just for someone to be present and listening. Whether you are taking them out to lunch or sending along an inspirational card, avoid telling them how to get better and instead endeavor to let them know you are standing with them in the hurting.
3. If You Speak at All, Let it be to Share Your Own Struggles
When a person is struggling, they appreciate someone willing to suffer alongside. Job’s comforters were helpful when they sat with Job and listened to his tears. It was when they spoke up and began to pontificate about reasons and solutions that they got in trouble with their friend (and with God). If you do speak up, let it be to share your own times of confusion, hurt and struggle. This is a great time to tell how God met you and carried you through.
4. Look for Small Acts of Support
You don’t have to have solutions in order to be used by God in the life of another person in pain. If you look around for even small ways that you can offer support it can mean a great deal. Babysit, mow the lawn, drive with them to an appointment. Send along an inspirational card letting them know you are thinking of them – it’s so small but can mean so much.
5. Pray, Pray, Pray
Prayer is a huge support. Pray for them over the phone. Write out your prayer for them inside the inspirational card you send. Pray for them when you catch them alone in the break room or stop by their house for no other reason than to pray. Prayer is powerful.
Jesus is our guide here. He will direct hurting people into our path if we are only willing to be used by Him to show them His love. People need to feel His love through us. A hug, a phone call, a visit, a card in the mail – these are the small things which make all the difference. Check out The Printery House and our full line of inspirational cards so you are ready the next time the Lord sends a sorrowing soul your way.