Isaiah 57:18 - I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him.
It’s one thing to hit a road block.
It’s one thing to get side tracked.
It’s one thing to lose your way.
It’s one thing to say, “This just can’t be happening.”
You see, it’s one thing when it’s our life that has been road blocked, side traced, to have lost your way and to not believe what is happening in your life.
Pain hurts. It burns inside our hearts. We want to give up. Throw in the towel. Cry until there’s nothing left to cry for.
But when it’s someone you care about that’s hurting, there just aren’t words to what you feel.
There are times when someone you care about decides by their own choices to take a wrong path and finds themselves hurting; but when it’s nothing that they’ve done to cause it, it digs deep into our hearts and we find ourselves wanting to take their pain away.
And maybe you can help with that.
Here are some ideas:
When someone else is hurting, it can be difficult to know what to do about it. Here are some additional suggestions on what you can do on huffpost.com in their article, “5 Powerful Ways to Help Someone in Emotional Pain,” including let the person have their pain. Don’t try to talk them out of their feelings. Also, ask the person what they need. They may want to talk to you, but they also may want to be left alone for now.
As the Bible verse above says, know that God sees the pain your friend or family member is experiencing, and has said that he will heal them. He will guide them to the help they need and restore comfort to them. Be ready to be part of that process, if called upon to do so.
Ephesians 4:2 - Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Patience. Don’t you just hate it when a voice comes over your phone telling you that you have an eleven minute wait time for your call to go through? I know I do. I get impatient when it’s not just eleven minutes that go by, but even one minute to wait. There’s something wrong in that, I instinctively know. But I still find my aggravation growing as I hear, “Please continue to hold for the next person available.” And while I’m waiting, they’re playing Christmas music. Like that’s supposed to help me be patient.
The Christmas season is full of waiting.
But what about the people whose job it is to put us on hold? Do you find yourself lashing out when someone finally does come on the line? It’s not just this example that shows our impatient reactions.
What about waiting in line at the store? Do you look ahead of you and think that if only the clerk worked a little faster you wouldn’t have to wait?
Waiting and impatience seem to go hand-in-hand. And though during the Christmas season, with all the joy it holds, it may seem strange that your impatience grows as each day grows closer to Christmas. And how can we be an example to the world for why we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas when we act no different than those who only celebrate Santa Claus and presents?
Womansday.com has some ideas on getting rid of Christmas impatience in their article, “31 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas.” Here’s a couple: Schedule a break. Take one day or even one afternoon off and take a drive out into the country. Another example is to seek the out-of-the-way cashier. Find a courtesy counter or service desk to pay for your items.
Choosing some of the examples in the article above and trying them out may be just what you need to find some Christmas patience. Take a look at the Bible verse above. We are supposed to be patient and bear with one another in love. And, yes, that means during the Christmas season we are to be even gentler with those around us; even the clerk at the register checking out your gifts.
Christmas is a wonderful season if we let it be. Let’s remember to have Christmas patience, and it will help us enjoy the season more.
Colossians 3:12 - Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Recently there was a violent earthquake in Alaska. Those who live there knew of the danger that faced them every day because of the history of earthquakes surrounding them. But it’s where they live. It’s not easy to find a new place to live when you don’t have the finances to do so. And, it’s where their families live, so they stay and rebuild.
However, what do people do when they live through a horrific earthquake, hurricane or wildfire and there’s no place to go for miles around where they lived. What do they do when there’s nothing left to go home to?
As I have written about in previous posts, this is what my mom faced in the wake of a wildfire. It was like as if her town had been wiped away. This also meant that there will be no rebuilding for at least a year, because of the need to repair infrastructure including water, sewer, and power along with making sure that all toxic materials have been removed.
So now what?
The many displaced residents have been forced into temporary shelters or they have fled to other cities.
And I can say with certainty, whether someone has been in a shelter or a new area, many stories have been told of how the victims’ trauma has been met with kindness and compassion.
There has been the provision of food and clothing, blankets and tents, and all along the way the two steps of kindness and compassion are leading many to find themselves on the road to healing from the tragedy.
This is what my mom has met at every turn.
Time-after-time, she has been met with kindness and compassion.
She has cried. They have cried.
She has laughed. They have laughed.
She has been confused. They have helped her figure things out.
Yes, kindness and compassion go a long way in the healing process. Here’s a few ways you can help a victim:
Reader’s Digest (rd.com) post the article, “15 Ways You Can Help After a Natural Disaster (Hint: It’s Rarely Donate Clothes),” and suggests to think of children by donating toys, snacks or juices; also, hosting a food drive or donating your skills to your community.
With a little help from each one of us, by showing kindness and compassion, it will go a long way to help natural disaster victims begin to heal. The Bible verse above speaks of kindness and compassion like clothes we put on. So as you change your clothes or shoes during the day remember the victims of a natural disaster that has recently happened and be the hands and feet that bring relief.
Psalm 68:6 - God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
Here we are with the Christmas season upon us. Everyone is rushing to the malls or outlet stores to find just the right gift to buy for a special someone. Then after you’ve finished shopping, you return home to wrap your presents and place them under your Christmas tree waiting for the day your family will gather.
Wait a minute.
You’re returning home with the presents
You’re returning home to wrap the presents
You’re returning home to a Christmas tree to put them under
You’re returning home to look for your favorite cookie recipe
You’re returning home to bake the cookies
You’re returning home to wait for the day the family all gathers
But what if you don’t have a place you can call home?
It certainly feels like you have no home for the holidays.
What you may be experiencing is grief over the kind of Christmas you used to have. The article, “64 Tips for Coping with Grief at the Holidays,” on whatsyourgrief.com provides us with some answers. Though the article is primarily talking about grieving over a lost loved one, I believe there are some suggestions that also work when grieving over not having a “home” at Christmas. Here are some of their ideas: Acknowledge the holidays will be tough this year; talk to your kids about how things will be different, and letting them know that it’s okay to be sad over what they’ve lost, and it’s okay to also feel happy because it’s Christmas.
And lastly one of my ideas: Though you may not feel like celebrating this Christmas, allow your family to step in and help you through the grieving process. If they live nearby let them pick you up and take you to their home. It may not be your home, but it may help you feel a piece of Christmas joy. After all, God placed us in families for a reason. They can be the ones who shower comfort on us when we need it the most.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.