“As ridiculous as it may sound, sometimes all any of us needs in life is for someone to hold our hand and walk next to us.”
— James Frey
Humanity makes complicated what God intended to be easy.
When it comes to loving people through their problems, we make much ado about listening well and attending to the little nuances of another person’s felt need. Much of the time, however, we either underestimate or overestimate what people actually need. We misunderstand easily.
Especially in responding to the normally well-adjusted person, there is the opportunity to keep our helpful support to the minimum required in order to just be there by our availability. This is half the battle: to be available, and more poignantly at the right time.
Most of us don’t need a lot of constant support to get through our battles; it’s more the preparedness of someone to help, to be there, where they can be relied upon.
A Short List of Simple Kindnesses We Can Share
1. Offer the infirmed a visit and come on-time. Enjoy just being there in their company. We don’t make the visit about ourselves; we get curious about them. We might read them a book, or bring them up to date with news. It’s important that we see this opportunity as one where we can do something innovative for them that they can’t do themselves, but would like to have done.
2. Going for a walk with somebody in some portion of mental anguish is a good distraction. We wish to offer them some fresh perspective without forcing it down their throats. We hope that the joy we may have might permeate their consciousness. But to be a kindness, we ought to be thinking of their benefit through such a simple act as going for a walk.
3. Actually doing something for somebody, notwithstanding how small, can make such a huge difference, especially when they don’t expect such kindness of grace extended towards them.
4. Making a meal or offering hospitality is a simple kindness with great practical value. It’s a true gift when we can do something for someone which is beyond their ability to do for themselves.
It’s important in our support that we don’t disturb a person’s dignity. There’s not much point in seeking to help by blessing someone if we create damage instead. Sometimes the little things count for so much more. And it’s always a good idea to consider our motives when we give simple kindnesses. It’s got to be about them or it’s a waste of time.
We can do much to encourage the lowly of heart through simple kindnesses. Everyone needs a friend at their lowest ebb, but we needn’t ‘rescue’ them. When we can be that balanced friend we come to be blessed to be a blessing.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.