Wednesday, March 09, 2011

How do you serve the suffering?

Since Molly Piper's blog's sidebar assures me that I'm a "stranger, not a stalker" - I keep visiting it. Mainly the archives. Mainly the series I'm about to share on here.

By way of intro, here's the skinny. I'm a people-person. I love people. And I love "my people" - all of the amazing friends and family God has given me. But, I clam up around people, even "my people," when they are suffering. I think about them. Sometimes I cry for them and pray for them and worry about them and wonder about them. But, I just don't know what to say. Or do. And, so, sadly, sometimes I don't. Often, I don't. I don't say. I don't do. I was convicted about this awhile back.

In my life, I have literally lost count of the number of friends who have had miscarriages, struggled with infertility, stillbirth or a brand-new baby that dies, an adoption process that doesn't end with an adoption, life-threatening illnesses, chronic illnesses, deaths in the family, etc. It's a fallen world, and sometimes, it hurts. A lot.

Lately, I'm wanting to do something about my tendency to "clam up" around the people who most need a friend during these times, and even months and years beyond. I want to ask them questions. Listen. Serve. Minister. Let them share. I want to try to enter into this world of suffering. I have much to learn.

Anyway, more could be said. But, I've been learning some big lessons about this. Many of which I learned on Molly Piper's blog. I heard of her story awhile back and stumbled upon her blog shortly thereafter. What I so appreciate about her writing is it's honesty, and the way she's trying to help the Church at large know how to deal with people who are hurting.

Okay. So, enough of my jibber-jabber about it.
If you have ever felt like I do, feeling kind of lost about how to serve the suffering, be it a close friend, a new friend, the gal three pews over at church or your neighbor, read these posts.

Start here. (And there are more posts on grief here as well.)

Thanks, Stranger Molly. I so appreciate your ministry to me. Even though I don't know you, I have learned a ton from you on this topic.


Kristy said...

Thanks for sharing Jamie. Its so easy to bring a meal to a friend who's just had a baby. It's so hard to call someone who is very sick that you don't know as well and offer help. We recently discovered
which is a great (and super easy) way to organize help and meals for someone. This way all the info is out there and each person who wants to help doesn't have to call and ask about diet/allergies/etc... It takes about 15 minutes to set up. Love you friend!

sarahdodson said...

Jamie! I can see your blog now. Yay!!!! I need to catch up on all that I've missed :o) I do understand what you mean about serving the suffering. Sometimes we can feel so inadequate and helpless.

I want to tell you, from personal experience, that how you ministered to me when my mom died was perfect. You prayed for me, shared memories of her with me, encouraged me and loved me. And I want to thank you for it. I am truly blessed to know you.

May the Lord meet your desires in wanting to serve Him and others who are suffering. Love you!