Friend, How are You?
This week while watching America’s Got Talent I could not help but think of all of the hurting individuals in the world. It seems like everywhere you turn you hear stories of individuals feeling bullied, victimized, feeling as if they are a misfit, and feeling like they don’t fit in with the norm. Although some share their stories and songs, others keep these feelings to themselves. Many believe they are living in a perfect world yet they themselves are anything but perfect.
While working the following day a student was telling me of his summer and he actually said, “I wish my life was different.” Another said, ““I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people.” Later that evening I heard a person commenting about not really knowing what their purpose in life is even though they desire to know. These statements hit me hard. Although each was a totally different situation, each of the people involved had experienced feelings of inferiority, injustice, or isolation.
It can’t just be my heart that aches for these individuals. You too have heard the stories, heard the songs, read the Facebook posts, and watched the news. Even television programs allude to these same issues within episodes because this is our world as we know it today. In an age where we have so much ease and accessibility to life, we see less and less contentment with not only what we have, but also who we are.
I am a fix it type of person and I want to help people overcome the feelings of isolation and inadequacy but how am I supposed help? It’s one thing to remind others they are children of God and they have a special purpose but I don’t want to say or do things that others just brush off with no meaning. Although I aspire to mean well, when people are down they usually don’t want to hear anything that they may think is cliché’ or maybe even spiritually based because others may have already tried giving them advise previously. Besides, some of them don’t even know God yet and may not even want to entertain the idea of God is in control.
I prayed about this scenario. What can I say? What can I do when I find myself in these situations? Then started thinking of all the individuals who haven’t opened up to anyone. I am sure there are many people each day I come in contact with who are hurting and feel alone yet have kept the feelings to themselves. Maybe some of them are even to the point of breaking and nobody is wiser.
I realized I am called to be a friend, a friend to all. A smile, a hello, eye contact, or even a simple nod along with a “ Are you having a good day?” would be a good place to start. That may be just what one needs to allow God to start working in their life. Although I talk to many and am a true friend to those within my own circle of life, I am often too busy to stop and ask others about their day if I don’t really know them. I must purposefully allow margin in my life and focus to be a friend to all. I need to not always be striving in my world as I may miss the opportunity to be a friend. A friend as God has called me to be. I never know how God is planning on using me each day!
'Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.' Philippians 2:4 ESV
‘The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.’ Proverbs 27:9 NLT