Helping Others. . . Is It Really Help?
I haven’t blogged in a long while. But on this early morning, I am troubled. I am troubled because I am someone who cares about others. The troubling part is telling the difference between helping someone and rescuing someone. You see, if you help someone, then they should learn to do for themselves. But when you rescue someone, they do not always understand the gravity of the rescue or how to change the behavior which landed them in trouble in the first place. I am thinking in particular about a friend I have. She is so emotionally broken right now and therefore not functioning very well in society. I think back to the time when I was so very broken, and wanted someone to rescue me. In the end, there were some things I had to learn and believe in. It was an excruciating process. I don’t think anyone could have sped that up for me.
Let me be more specific. One of my friends is homeless. She has off and on for the past 6 years. As Christians, or just someone who cares about humanity, we think, “Give her a place to live, get her back on her feet, some sort of job with an income and her life will start falling into place.” I have learned that problems go so much deeper than the physical problems of homelessness. The problem is being broken–downright shattered. The problem is believing that you are not worthy of a home, love, or the happiness that this world offers. How do you fix that?
I am not sure that you can fix that. Learning to accept love is a process that you must learn to believe on your own. No one can gift you “learned to accept love.” No one can make you accept love or make you believe you are worthy of love. That is a journey one has to make by themselves. They may even know intellectually that they should receive what life has to offer, but emotionally they just can not. This is the position my friend finds herself– believing she is worthy of nothing. That could not be farther than the truth.
We can clothe her, give her food and shelter, but that does not fix the problem. People have stepped up and really tried to mentor her and meet her needs. And it looks good on paper for a few weeks. But the cycle repeats itself because she has not learned to accept love. Her emotional needs are more than I can fix. It will take the Great Physician’s touch before she learns to accept love.
So then, how do I help her and others like her? For now, I can only meet a few of her needs: a few physical items and to walk along side of her whispering words of encouragement, truth and love. She does not know it, but she has already touched so many lives with her story. If she were to disappear (which I don’t want her to do), her legacy would live on because she has left a fingerprint on society–she is that important that God uses her, and by using her, is trying to get her to see He loves her. Oh, sweet one, do you not realize you are radically loved or believe in the words of Jer. 29? God whispers love to you, yes you.