Friday, August 7, 2015

Just Show Up

We’ve all seen them in our facebook newsfeed…
Heartbreaking posts from someone who has lost a loved one or diagnosed with cancer or enduring financial hardship, or painful divorce…the list goes on. And as women, we deeply desire to comfort these broken hearts through words.
But can I honestly say, there is one repeated comment I see on facebook…over and over again. I cringe when I see it. And then I cringe again.
“Let me know if you need anything.”
Have I ever told a hurting person this in the past? Unfortunately yes. But I have learned through my own trials a better way to comfort.
Four years ago, I was struggling through a very difficult time in my life both physically and mentally.  I had to take a 4 month sabbatical from my counseling job and was unable to care for my 3 small children without constant outside help from family and friends.
For a high functioning, dependable woman who had worked since 11 years old, I can not begin to express how painfully discouraging my inability to quickly “pick myself” up was at this point.
On a Saturday afternoon I watched an unrecognized car pull in my driveway. It was Sherry, our secretary, who lived in the town nearby. When I opened the door she lovingly explained, “Melissa, I was out picking blueberries with my grandchildren and I wanted to bring some to you for your kids. They are already washed.”
They were already washed.
Tears are running down my face as I type– thinking about that white colander of washed berries, ready to set on my table for my children to eat. Because of my health, standing at my kitchen sink washing fruit was a chore…yes a chore. I am sure there many of you that can relate. So those washed blueberries were very meaningful to this mama.
That life touching experience taught me a very significant life lesson….
Too many times, we wait for a struggling person to ask for help. They may need someone to help put laundry away or take their children for a few hours so they can rest. Unfortunately, their mental and physical energy may be too low to be able assign us to these needed tasks. Or they may not want to feel like a burden or even know what they need. That’s why we just have to SHOW UP, look around and offer to do what’s needed without being asked.
Are there some people who are very private and possibly offended by help? Yes. And we want to respect their boundaries.
But who could seriously be angry at a plate of brownies or a pot of soup? My bet–they’ll be grateful.
Here are some simple ways to help a struggling person in their day-to-day life.
  • Take them a meal- it doesn’t have to be fancy!
  • Drop off some groceries
  • Walk their dog
  • Take their kids for a few hours
  • Cut their grass or weed flower beds
  • Fold laundry
  • Clean dishes in their sink
  • Offer to run errands for them
  • Drop off a cup of their favorite coffee
  • Make a fruit and veggie tray for their kids.
I know this post is not necessarily about overcoming a specific hardship. But I hope this post can offer to each of you a purpose in your suffering–to learn how to comfort others. (2 Cor 1:4, Gal. 6:2)
Contributing Article to Comfy in the Kitchen
Written by Melissa Yoak