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Caring For Others

I’m feeling much better today and I want to thank a special friend who took the risk to confront me – well, it wasn’t exactly face-to-face confrontation but she sent me an email that went something like this:

I have the sense that you’ve been grumpy a lot lately…are you still thinking of that mechanic or have you let that go? You mentioned a few things in emails that are not like you. …don’t want to make you more upset, but just thought I would point it out to you…you haven’t seemed yourself lately…are you OK?  I’ll leave it at that. If you need to talk, I’m here!

I needed that. Someone cared enough to notice that I was in a bit of a “funk” and she loved me enough to get involved. She was willing to share her observations and ask the tough questions. It caused me to take a good look at myself.  I knew there was a lot of things going on that contributed to my discouragement so I decided to write them all down. It turned out that there were seven things bothering me. As soon as I finished the list, I started talking with God and surrendering the disappointment, the anger and the frustration to Him. I had a good talk and cry with Chris and life finally started to feel a little more manageable. I emailed my friend and told her how I was doing. She responded with:

Sounds like a very emotional day for you. Wow, 7 things.. that’s a long list!  Glad you’re aware of it though and could give that up to God.  I find a good cry is quite therapeutic. Sorry you had to go through that today though. 🙁 

I am so thankful for friends like this. Too many “friends” avoid difficult situations or people that challenge their thinking or mess up their day. Life is messy,isn’t it? It can get pretty overwhelming at times. When we love others and ask questions, it’s been said that we  “irritate them towards maturity” – that is, we push them a little because we care a lot. It’s what the writer of Hebrews was talking about when he wrote, ” …and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24

Take the extra step. Go the extra mile. Lovingly ask the simple question, “What’s wrong? How can I help?”  Sometimes, we need others to put down their laptops, phones, agendas and goals for the next hour and pursue us…push us..listen to what is said and what isn’t said…get comfortable with silence and wait patiently. That’s good loving.

Three keys to more abundant living: caring about others, daring for others, sharing with others. William Arthur Ward


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