they showed him caring hearts.
I see commercials on TV all the time for different venues asking for money to help aid the hurting, and those who have little or nothing, most often in other countries. I suggest offering to spend time with someone on your street, community, town or other place you frequent, would be just as valuable. It doesn’t have to be about money, although that is important. Sometimes, rather than money, a bag of groceries (from your “plenty” in the cupboard, gently used clothes, medicine (yes, this one would require funds), transportation or some other gift that doesn’t require money, like your time, is more or at least as valuable.
There are other ways to be “in a bad place” and has nothing to do with choices, so much as, the world we live in. A dear friend of mine recently was one of the first responders to a horrific accident. It cost the lives of both children and adults. While my friend has a very strong faith, it still rocked his world. It takes a while to work through a tragedy such as this one. Until he works through it, he is going to be, at least in some respects, “in a bad place.”
Our veterans who sacrifice life and limb on the battlefield often come back “in a bad place.” They have witnessed things their mind rejects and had to respond in ways under normal circumstances they would never consider. War is cruel and the mind and heart rejects such action, but it's a necessary evil. While the cost of personal anguish is intensely great, the consequences to our country of not responding on the battlefield would be tragic.
Another example of “being in a bad place” involves our friends and family who get involved in substance abuse or otherwise break the law. We as family, must work through our own pain, even as we love and try to help the one gone astray. The emotional and physical stress on both sides of this issue can be nothing less than devastating .
The person who suffers at the hand of abuse is yet another example of someone being “in a bad place.” How does one understand why she (or he) will not leave the confines of the abuser? It doesn’t seem to make sense and often makes it difficult to respond positively to the one in pain.
These are only a few times when people are "in a bad place." It seems everyone on occasion, experiences this kind of pain. How do you respond to someone who finds himself in "this place"? I suggest, like my friends I spoke of at the outset, to give a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or a hug of comfort to show caring and understanding, (even when understanding seems foreign given the circumstance) is the best medicine. When possible, offer aid for at least basic needs; and extend friendship, again even when friendship puts us out of our comfort zone.
When we see to the needs of others, in our neighborhoods or countries we've never visited, we've done a high and noble thing. And when we help with our hearts, we have the opportunity to experience profound joy.