Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Answer the Cry: Help Me

It's struck me lately how unfeeling people can be. I mean, I always knew that particular people were. But when I was younger I though that society in general...well, let's just say I have an optimistic personality. But friends of mine keep reporting on how terribly they've been treated, intentionally or otherwise.
Guys dumping girls (at least emotionally), "Threesomes" excluding the third member, friends suddenly angry at you, claiming you have hurt them and irritated them to no end, and leave...all without ever saying anything until the moment they choose to leave.
Does that sound like Love to you?

To me it sounds like fuel to my already stoked fires of protection for my loved ones!! Do they not know that they must communicate? That they must not be two-faced? That they must show love in every situation and be gracious, not vengeful?
*shakes head*
I've also been impacted as to how many of us are doing nothing, not giving someone a smile, a hug, a call, text or email, or a compliment. Not doing so can drastically affect a person's life.
A site I mentioned in my earlier post was www.sixbillionsecrets.com. That website allows you to submit your deepest, darkest secrets (anonymously), as well as your hopes and fears, all without judgement. People can comment and encourage you, and help build you up. It's now one of my favorite sites.
Not because it's always hopefull. Often, I leave the site with tears streaming down my face and a knot in my stomach because of how many people are hurting. The most common posts are about people wanting to commit suicide, who are at a loss because they've been betrayed, abused, raped, or abandoned by a loved one.
Yet, when you read the comments, you see that there are hundreds of people who say "Please. I don't know you, but I care about you. Your life is worth living. Don't give up."
Do we ever do that?
Do we ever think "That person is hurting", whether it be a friend, or a stranger, a business man or a homeless woman, a cashier or a soccer mom? And if we do, do we ever do anything for them, even saying a word?

There was a man who committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. The police searched his apartment and found his note, which said "I am walking to the bridge. If even one person smiles at me, I won't jump."
One person.
That's all it would have taken to save that man's life.
What if you could have smiled at that lonely stranger? Would you have done so?
There are many more stories like that, some ending it death, but many more ending in life. A woman was abandoned by her friends and felt completely unloved. She was going to commit suicide that night. But as she stopped at a stoplight, she saw this little girl in the car next to her. The girl held up her hands in the shape of a heart and smiled at the woman. She decided that that child's innocent love was enough of a reason to stay alive.

Another woman felt similarly, and was walking along the sidewalk. A little boy, walking with his mum, turned to her and said "You're beautiful!". She was planning her suicide at the time, but couldn't stop smiling after that comment. She's still alive today because of his words.

One girl was never told she was beautiful or loved. But she still held out hope, despite her pain and rejection. So she writes "You are beautiful" on post it notes and places them on the mirror(s) in every bathroom she enters, just so someone might be given hope, or possibly even choose to stay alive.

A second girl will write "spam" on metal stall doors and walls...but not ranting or swearing. No, she writes a message of hope so that anyone who sees it will be able to smile. She often goes back and marvels at the many responses and thank you's underneath her message. The janitors almost never paint over the messages either. They often leave them on the walls because they themselves were given hope and a smile from reading them.

A third girl does something that her friends call "crazy". She will compliment strangers on their clothes, hair, smile, eyes, body, accessories, family...anything to make them feel worthwhile and noticed. She says that she does it because one such comment saved her, keeping her from taking her own life.

My challenge to you today is this:
What will you do to bring someone a smile, happiness, or even life? Will you start putting post it notes up in the bathroom in your church, school, college or grocery? Will you comment on a cashier's hair or smile? Will you kindly thank the quiet janitor pushing his cart into the bathrooms? Will you try to recognize when a friend doesn't really mean "I'm ok...I'm fine. Nothing's wrong" and sit down, willing to listen to them, comfort them, and tell them they are loved? 1 Samuel 20:14 says "If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the LORD, that I may not die". Don't you think you could at least do that?
My last facebook status was "Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle." You never know if that person standing behind you in line has an alcoholic spouse, an abusive parent or boyfriend, a line of friends who used them, a history of cutting or suicidal thoughts, or a recent death in the family that shook their very foundations.
Just with that man who jumped, your smile could save their lives. You don't have to be outgoing to do this. You don't have to be an evangelist. You just have to want to help people who are hurting, and who fill this world. There are far more people out there who wear masks but are dying inside than there are those who think they are "doing alright".

When I walked out of Meijer yesterday evening, I saw the woman standing at the entrance, waiting to check someone's bag if the sensors beeped. She looked tired and a bit down, so I gave her a big smile and said "Have a nice day!" It took her a second, but she returned my smile with a very large grin while her eyes lit up. Then she waved at me, calling back "You have a lovely day too!" I barely caught her last comment, which was almost whispered. "Thank you....."
I don't know about you, but that makes my heart skip a beat!
And it didn't take any time out of my day. It didn't take courage. It just took a smile and four words. FOUR. What can you do with four words and a smile?



McKenna Kate said...

Wow, I love this Rachel. It makes me think of a certain friend of mine who is going through so much, and no one knows. No one cares enough to tell her she's beautiful or loved and so she's hurting even more. How much would it take, really?

Thanks for posting this. :)

Rae Hitchings said...

:) So far you and Courtney have both liked this *smile* I'm glad. I just feel very convicted about the subject.
I'm wanting to go through the training necessary to be a counselor on the Indiana suicide hotline. Emotionally draining work, yes. But well worth my time!

Merry said...

Mmmm...wow. That's convicting. A smile...

"Thank you." Yes, ditto. Thank you, Rae, for speaking truth and calling us to love others in the "little ways." :)


Rae Hitchings said...

=D I'm glad it's impacted people! I now carry a pen and a thing of post it notes in my bag haha

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