Monday, April 27, 2009

“It is better to suffer than to except a gift from uncaring hands.”

- Henri Nouwen

A group of us started up times of prayer three times throughout the day, for a time to know each other better, share, give up requests, and praise. Most of us have been struggling in different ways, so personally, it will be a huge help to me.

Today, I learned that I'm not just here to grow, heal, and learn. I'm here to contribute to others' growths, healing, and learning. It was sort of selfish of me to not realize that before. I guess I didn't see how I could be of use in someone else's story, but this is one of the many things I am learning.

Our director read an excerpt from the book "Out of Solitude" for a brief devotional today (where the quote above came from). It was on the topic of caring, and not in any way less than the true meaning of the word. It was about sincere caring and how it is showed. Often times, when we see that someone is hurting, our tendency is to withdraw. Maybe we don't think we can really help, but that is not the mindset we should have. Everybody comes from different backgrounds and pasts, and we all have those certain people in our lives that are struggling with certain things. What should we do when we know someone is hurting? What do we do when someone is going through something that we've never experienced and cannot relate? Is simply patting them on the back and hoping they feel better nearly enough? Maybe all that we need to do is be there. "I don't understand what you're going through, and I don't know what to say to help, but know that I am here with you."

Maybe you've experienced a time when you sought help, and somebody offered a "cure" for the pain. Only, something was lacking. There are all these "cures" out there. "This is what you do when you're feeling this way" or "This is why this happened, so next time, do this." Whatever it is, there is something lacking. Care.We all need somebody, and someone that will stick around no matter what. We need someone who truly cares, and shows it. We need to be that someone for somebody else. I've fallen short in the past, and I'm learning from it. More and more I am understanding what true and sincere relationships are, and that makes me stronger as a person. And no matter where I am in life, if I'm a daughter, a sister, a niece, a granddaughter, a wife, a teacher, the president... no other title matters more than my title as a child of God. I found a cure for my greatest problem, and that makes life worth living.

"When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate now knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." - Henri Nouwen

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