Hand Up Or Hand in Hand
I Have Never Seen a Bad Hand Holding
Walking through the troubles hand in hand is where it is at. Hand in hand is better than any hand alone. Let us walk through this notion, hand in hand.
Finding that sweet spot in the middle of a tempest. What a wonderful concept. There is that notion of loving your enemies as you would your neighbor. Cool. Well this same concept comes through with sickness, loss or extreme adversity. You have to love these conditions as you do when the conditions are great. How easy is it to love your good friend and how hard to love those who in some way persecute you no matter how slight?
This must be the same with problems and bad situations no matter how grave. Just think about it for a second. Enemy/Friend – Adversity/Peace. If you cannot find love in the most horrible situations or conditions what good are you? Everyone can find it when all is right in our world. Even the fool and the intentional sinner can love when things are going well.
So the most irritating and aggravating situations are those that we must embrace the most.
Now do not go overboard here. We do not go out and either make enemies or intentionally cause ourselves to be sick just so we can love something rotten. We must always strive to create an atmosphere where love and thriving and compassion rule the hour.
I still have problems with other people’s pain and suffering and usually death, although there are exceptions here. But I do not suffer anymore. I just do not or maybe cannot? To my way of thinking trials that are heaped upon me are to be embraced in order to strengthen our love in general. How much more worthy is it to overcome and let our light shine to show the way for others. Compared to just preaching about overcoming.
Now many will tell you that faith without works is nothing. And/or works without faith is nothing. Now get a grip here, both concepts are fantastic. Either both at once or standing all by themselves is awesome. I always come back to the notion of God is Love and Love is God. So you see the problem with dogma here? If I have not faith yet I do a good thing out of love that seems like a real big something to me. Or if I really don’t help much but love mightily and have faith – there may be a big good issue there. Look up Mary and Martha out of the New Testament. One of them is working her butt off getting a meal ready the other is just hanging out loving Jesus. They are both loving Jesus. And that seems to be enough on either side of that equation.
Walk and Talk
We Should Walk With Each Other
Reach Out and Share
Now when another is in suffering and in pain of whatever sort it is first our duty to listen and then listen and then listen. Preaching is never called for unless literally begged for. Advice must at least be asked for after the third listening. Otherwise the advice is an empty gong. Or possibly harmful or hurtful. As is obvious it is not advice at all except perhaps to the person giving it.
So we embark knowing the above and we know we must help or better yet go with a person in stress. Yes I did just say that. We get to go through it with another. The pleasure and gift of walking the valley of the shadow of death with another is not a duty but a privilege given only to those who have faith and love enough to do it. Like grace, not earned but rather granted.
We all have love and as we know God is love no matter what your belief structure. (if you know of one, really, let me know I want to study them and their aberrations.) I have no doubt that God suffers when we suffer. How God deals with that is God’s business, believe me it ain’t my business. But that god of love within me that is my business how I deal with that.
So we circle back a moment and remember we are primarily talking about our walk through our extreme hardship. I often wonder why it is easier for me to compliment another than myself even if just in my mind. And why is it easier for me to help deal with your problems than it is my own problems? Why would I be so afraid to walk through that tough valley by myself but to help guide you removes the fear?
It would seem that God put a bit of need in us. Some people squash that need and others ignore it to their detriment. And that need is for us to love and help one another. Both the giving and the receiving. A need to be needed and a need to help those in need. Probably the person who we say “she is just too needy”, would neither be helped by abandonment nor helping. Probably the cure would be to need that person. I am quite sure it would be. If you feel that too many people need you rethink it. (no we are not talking scenarios like single moms and multiple children.)
We all know we are speaking of the notion in general. I am needy to be needed. I have no qualms about it. And if you are really down low bring me with you.
Take My Hand
Somewhere In France
Sweet Spot of Lending a Hand
I hope that makes a little sense. I love it when my elder children call in to check up and tell me what is going on. But I really love it when they call up to get my advice and input. A great deal of the time I can really help as my life has been such that I normally have been there and done that in the right and the wrong ways. But as I spoke of above even if advice is asked for you still listen thrice. There is a wonderful yet silly, in ways, notion about misery loves company. It is not the misery that loves company it is the down and dirty getting through it that loves company.
We like to say “not a hand out but a hand up”. Insofar as it goes it makes sense. But I say to you that the better is a hand to go with. Of what profit is there in saving a man rather than helping him save himself. If a man is in misery is it better to feed him one day or to show him how to earn food. Of course this applies both to the spiritual as well as actual food.
For the last decade and more I have found no course of events that seem unsurmountable. This may sound masochistic but I say to bring it on “is that all you got?” But here is a confession. Most of my tribulations are self-inflicted and cause harm to others who love me. In my case usually a lack of doing rather than doing something wrong. So there it is. There is the thorn in my side that God requires I maintain to keep me focused on the fact that his love is all I need. So if I truly love I will not do things that cause others distress. And if they are distressed I will be distressed with them and never discount how they feel.
There it is. That sweet spot in the middle of a tempest. Peter was walking on water in the middle of the storm until he doubted that love can do all things. Let us not miss that sweet spot when the weather gets rough for ourselves and /or others.