Not Easy

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Comforting a hurting person is not easy.

We are already starting to see the news media move on to the next big story, although the current news will last longer than most. By a day or two. Hurting can last a lifetime.

When I talked with God, he reminded me of something I have written about here before. During the training for my Stephen’s Ministry certification, there was a drawing.

A simple drawing of a man in a deep pit with no way out. People could walk by and offer encouragement. People could walk by and look the other way. People could toss in something for him to eat or drink.

Or.

Someone could get a ladder and not just throw it in the pit. Someone could get a ladder and climb down into the pit to be with the man. To talk with him. To comfort him. To stay with him as long as he needed to stay. Until the man felt ready to climb out.

Then.

They could climb out of the pit together. They could walk together to get additional aid if needed.

These are challenging days. Who will we be when we see the person in the pit?

My prayer for us is to talk with God about being equipped to help and heal our hurting world. With the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, allow us to be a gentle witness who is not afraid to confidently carry His ladder and be with those in need. For as long as we are needed.

The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

– Proverbs 15: 4

16 comments on “Not Easy

  1. Judy Perez says:

    “I’ll sit in steadfast silence. I’ll pray you through the pain. And when the hurting eases, I will help you smile again.”
    From a song I wrote in 1991 when my best friends twin sons were killed in an ATV accident. All I had to offer was my presence & that’s what I gave her. Hard.
    Very hard.

    • Hi Judy! I miss you! What a wonderful song and I can hear you singing it through your tears. You are truly a gentle witness and willing to be in the pit which is proven by your “all I had to offer was my presence & that’s what I gave her.” I’m sure at that moment, that was exactly what she needed as God guided you to be with her. Thank you for sharing with us!

  2. lindamowles says:

    Our Lord is the prime example of taking the ladder and getting into the pit with us … He left heaven to come to this sin-dominated world, and He lived here until He was cricufied for the very people He came to save, and He died taking our sin upon Himself, so that He could lift out of the pit all those who were His sheep. Thanks so much for this illustration. Blessings to you today, and to all those who are grieving, comfort as only our God can provide.

    • So glad you are here with us. Your comment reminded me of the verse and the sheep and the one who wanders off and how He goes to find him and help him return. I agree with you regarding, “comfort as only our God can provide”. I pray for all of us to be able to be in the pit and share His message.

  3. Tanya Cliff says:

    What an amazing message! Thank you!

    • Thank you for being here with us! I am always humbled by compliments and not quite sure what to say. I’m learning…thank you very much. Your letting me know means a great deal to me.

  4. John Lewis says:

    Thank you for being the gentle witness. What a great example for being there in times of trouble – times people might actually want to hear something we have to say!

    • So glad you are here with us as we continue to discover God’s love and and grace. When we climb down in the pit with a person and first listen, then listen some more, you are right…there is then a chance that we could be heard. I appreciate you sharing the gentle witness concept.

  5. Barb says:

    Thanks, Rick. I’ve been struggling with how to respond to my LGBT family members and friends who are feeling the pain of old wounds opening again . It’s hard to be in the pit, listening to their hurt, despair and memories a lifetime of violence and discrimination directed at LGBT. They rant against Christians, too, who do not mirror Jesus’ unconditional love (making me examine my words, actions and motives). Jesus said, “Bear one another’s burdens,” not add to them or hit them while they’re down. I want to fix this, make the hurt go away. Maybe all I can do is climb into the pit and sit with them and let them know they are lovable and they are loved.

    • Barbara, so glad you are here with us to share your journey. I believe you have the key in your last sentence. Simply be with them and let them know they are loved. I wrote some posts about my nephew who was very difficult at times to be around…as I prayed for him and about him, God replied with a beautiful answer: “just love him.” And that is what I did. You bring up another really good point…it is really hard to be in the pit. It is. Yet, often times, that is where healing begins. Thank you for being here as we continue to discover and share God’s love and grace.

  6. Roos Ruse says:

    This is one of the best posts I’ve read all day – it’s a catch up day and I’ve read a very lot. In light of recent events, this message can’t be more encouraging. It’s far better than one particular lesson that’s bothered me since the day I heard it in class for my counseling degree; “we can’t help anyone out of their pit if we fall into it with them.” While the instructor made a necessary point, I think what bothered me about that lesson was nobody considered or mentioned a ladder. Excellent word, great work, Rick.

    • Very humbled by your comment…thank you. I can see why you would be bothered by the statement your instructor made. I really love the analogy of carry a ladder and climbing in. It is then counseling and spiritual guidance could be offered. Thank you for being here with us as we continue to discover and share God’s grace.

  7. Nice post, Rick. We are our brother’s keeper for we are all of one blood.

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