Recently I have been the recipient of the helping hand of people who have listened, stopped and cared, and I am humbled and grateful for their help.
A couple of weeks ago, my car totally died in the middle of the street close to home. I had a neighbor stop to help me for which I was very grateful. Then earlier this week, we had an incident in our van during some very wet, stormy weather. Our van died on us in the middle of a huge puddle and had to be towed. My son came to our rescue as well as Triple A for the towing part. But I was also grateful for other motorists who stopped by to see if we needed help. It’s nice to know that there are people out there who care enough to stop. Thankfully I know God was with us too.
Another incident that just happened was a gift from someone who I think read between the lines of all that we had been going through (2 vehicles and some other unexpected expenses in less than a month) and blessed us with an anonymous gift I was so humbled and grateful, but I didn’t know how to receive the help. You see, I’m usually the one giving the help not receiving. I felt like I didn’t deserve it and wondered if I should even accept the gift. Still I know that God brought it at just the right time to encourage me and let me know that He sees my needs.
So how do we help in a hurry scurry world? It seems that our world keeps getting busier and crazier. If you greet someone by asking how he or she is doing, chances are you will hear, “I’ve been really busy lately.” Between working, keeping up with your family and having even just a little time for yourself, it seems that we can find ourselves always on the going, always doing and yet are we stopping to help? Do we even take note of those along the side of the road? There is such a need for people to care; for people who will walk slow enough and stop long enough to offer a helping hand. Churches, communities, neighborhoods and people around the world all need help. Opportunities to help abound and while no one person can meet all the needs, I wonder, “Are we stopping long enough to care when we see someone who needs help or are we walking on by, wrapped up in our own schedules and cares?” Thankfully, this past couple of weeks, I have had people who stopped to care. Yet I know that there have been times when I have hurried on by, ignoring the cries for help around me. How can I be better at stopping to care? How do I know when to help? Helping others is about watching, listening and letting our light shine.
The more I ponder this dilemma, the less I realize I know, but I am striving to learn and striving to be that person that lives like Jesus did. I want to love God and love people and I realize that doing so means I need to make time for people. I need to forget about schedules and “To Do” listen, stop and care for those around me and if you miss an opportunity, it may not be too late to turn around, go back and at least check on that person that needs encouragement or a helping hand. What can you do to help in the hurry, scurry world we live in? Here’s a few ideas that I’m working on learning, maybe you can too.
AWARENESS: Become more aware of the people and needs around us and be open to what God is saying. Being aware may mean that stop to listen and pray with someone who needs a listening ear. It may mean that we are more observant of what is going on around us. Instead of mindlessly pushing our carts into line at the store, maybe we could take notice of the mom with the screaming toddler and let her go in front or engage the screaming toddler in game of “Peek-A-Boo”. Who knows, it just might work? God will show you the opportunities around you everyday, if you ask Him to.
APPRECIATION: Let go of preconceived notions and appreciate others for who God created them to be. Live thankfully towards God and others. Be thankful when others respond to a need and step in to help in their own way. Be thankful when others extend grace towards you. No one can answer all the calls for help, all the desperate needs on their own, but together, we can do much. Let’s encourage and spur one another on Instead of insisting others do things our way. Also, be willing to accept gratefully when others offer you help. I’m working on this one!!!
INITIATIVE: Helping others means taking initiative when you see a need. It could be something as simple as stopping to pick up something at the store for your mom, volunteering to babysit for a neighbor or helping to jumpstart someone’s car when their battery is dead. I’m finding that If I take a little time out of my schedule to stop and help someone in my pathway, everything that really needs to get done still gets done, I know others are there to help me too. Initiative doesn’t mean waiting for someone else to see the need and do it! It means taking action when you see a need. Maybe you could get others involved with you – lead the troops, so to speak, in rallying around a cause or need.
BENEFITS: Oh and by the way, here is something I recently learned when reading about helping others and volunteering – Did you know that volunteering is actually good for you? It is! Volunteering – focusing on someone other than yourself can actually help reduce your stress level because instead of worrying about your own problems you are thinking of someone else. Some say that it even makes you healthier! Other benefits include learning a new skill by volunteering or helping others; you make new friendships; volunteering strengthens your community, your church, your neighborhoods and your family; and last but not least, you are making a difference!
Let’s stop hurrying and scurrying long enough to lend a helping hand in our world. Our world would be a better place if everyone decided to help someone.
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
Show me how to be your hands and feet to the world. Show me how I can stop and help with the right attitude and right heart. I’ve been guilty Lord, of feeling too busy to help others and I’ve also been guilty of forgetting to appreciate and love others when they are helping me. Forgive me Lord. Show me ways of appreciating others, of spurring them on as they reach out to help. Remind me daily to be aware of the opportunities that you place all around to simply offer a helping hand to others. May I see these opportunities as privileges instead of interruptions to my schedule. Teach me simply to love you and love others. Oh, and Lord, please bless my son, my friends and others who simply stopped to check and see if we needed help. I am so very grateful for all of these people in my life and I am thankful that you see and send help when we need it. Amen
SHARE A STORY: A Kind Man Stops To Help – Luke 10:25-37
One day Jesus told a story about a man who showed kindness. A man was traveling down the road, (Walk, walk, walk.) when some robbers came and took everything the man had. (Say, “Oh no!”) They left him along the road hurt and alone. (Look sad and sit down.)
A priest (pastor) came down that road too. (Walk, walk, walk.) He saw the man. (Put hands above eyes.) Did he stop? No! He was in a hurry so he walked on by. (Walk, walk, walk.) Then a teacher came along. (Walk, walk, walk.) He saw the man too, but he did not stay. He just looked quickly, (Put hands above eyes.) then he walked away. (Walk, walk, walk.)
Finally another man, a Samaritan, came walking by. He saw the man lying there and he let out a sigh. He stopped to care for the poor, hurt man instead of just passing by. He bandaged his sores (owies) and put him on his donkey. (Clip, clop, clip clop.) Then he took the man to an inn (hotel) to stay until he was completely well.
Jesus told this story because He wants you and I to know that we can show kindness to others too. It’s always good to stop and help when you see someone who needs it. What can you do if you see someone who is hurt? Stop to give them a hug and tell the teacher or your mom and dad that your friend needs some help. You can love like Jesus does. You can be kind and loving to everyone. You can show love and kindness to others just like Jesus shows love and kindness to you. Stop and help.
MEMORIZE: Eph. 4:32 ERV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
Be kind – (Gently pull one hand across the top of the other hand.)
And loving – (Hug self.)
To each other – (Point with whole hand outwards.)
Help me show kindness to others. I know you love me. I want to be kind and love others like you love others. I can share and I can help because you will help me. Thank you for being my friend. Amen
KNOW: Jesus wants me to stop and help others.I can be kind.
TALK ABOUT: Ways of showing kindness. Good manners.
ASK: Who loves you? God loves me.
AND DO: I can stop to help others .
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
- In your child’s everyday interactions with siblings and friends, model how to stop and help when someone gets hurt or is sad. Taking time to say, “Are you okay?”, “Do you need a Band-aid®?” or giving someone a hug are all great ways of showing compassion.
- Give your child an Ace™ bandage or a cheap box of band-aids® and let them play doctor with their dolls or “stuffies.. Praise them for showing compassion and kindness.“You are taking such good care of your doll just like the man in the Bible story we read.”