The Challenge

One day he was a picture of health. The next, he was sick.

One day he was optimistic he’d be cured. The next, he struggled to stay hopeful.

One day he was living his dream. The next, his dream was simply to live…one more day and then another.

One day he was here. The next, he was gone.

It’s so easy to get caught up in my own pain and problems – my own life and loved ones.  But I’m keenly aware in this moment that life is taking each of us on our own journey.  And I’m challenged to not get so wrapped up in my own story, that I miss what’s going on in yours.

Tonight, a wife will sleep in her bed alone for the first of many nights to come.

A mother and father are making plans to bury their son and asking themselves, “Why?”.

A little girl is going to bed without her Daddy tucking her in. I wonder if she understands.

Brokenness. Sorrow. Grief. Maddening Loss and Pain – all happening right down the street from us while we watch TV and cruise Facebook.  My heart breaks for them tonight – and I’m thankful for the pain.  Sometimes it’s good to have our hearts break a little. Sometimes it’s good to shed a tear for someone else’s hurt. It reminds us what we have. It reminds us what we can do.

the_challenge_logoI’m writing this post to challenge you and myself to a mission. There are so many people within our reach who need to know they’re not forgotten. Sometime within the next week, let’s each find one person who is in a tough season – and love them. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be the grandest gesture ever made. Just do what you can.

Sometimes love looks a lot like service – yard work, a meal, picking the kids up from school, a grocery run. Sometimes it comes as a hand on your shoulder or a handwritten note with simple, heartfelt words. Sometimes it comes as an unexpected gift card or check – or simply having someone listen to you rant without trying to fix you.

Anyone who has lived through a personal tragedy or loss will tell you the comment you hear the most is, “If there’s anything I can do, let me know. I’m here for you”.   Though well meaning, there’s a big problem with this offer. It assumes you know what you need. The truth is sometimes we become so distracted, numb and confused, it’s hard to even think about what we need, though the list would be long if we could. It feels overwhelming to even consider, so most people politely refuse and do the best they can on their own.

Knowing that, let’s look closely enough to identify a need we see on our own – or one we think we’d experience were we in the same situation. Then make it our mission to meet it.

Who is someone within your reach that’s hurting or in need? How can you help them? If you can answer those two questions, you are meant to join in. One Person, One Need, One Week. It’s not that big of an imposition for us individually, but a small effort from us could do a world of good for someone else.

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