Posts Tagged ‘helping’

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When “Funny” Isn’t So Funny

May 23, 2009

There is a “funny” that goes around called “The Psychiatric Hotline”. It goes like this:

Hello! Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline!If you are Obsessive-Compulsive, press 1 17 times…..hmmm better make that 26………ok just press 1 repeatedly.If you are Codependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.

If you have Multiple Personalities, press 3, 4, 5, and 6.

If you are Paranoid, we know who you are. Stay on the line so we can trace your call.

If you are Delusional, press 7, and your call will be transferred to the Mother Ship.

If you are Schizophrenic, listen carefully, and a small voice will tell you which number to press.

If you are Dyslexic, press 96969696969696.

If you have a Nervous Disorder, please fidget with the Pound Button until a representative comes on the line.

If you have Amnesia, press 8 and state your name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number, and your mother’s and grandmother’s maiden names.

If you have short-term Memory Loss, please try your call again later.

If you have Low Self-Esteem, just hang up. None of our representatives would talk to someone like you!

Now, I have read this many times in the past. Yet, for some reason, today when I read it I found myself becoming rather emotional. I am not sure exactly why. Perhaps, it is that last line. It really seems to sum up the underlying attitude portrayed in all of the ones above it. How many people really want to talk to someone who struggles mentally or emotionally. I mean…really! How many?

I know that I have had my own struggles with feeling overwhelmed by other people’s issues. I admit that. I think that, for me, a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was barely keeping my own sanity…if at all. I just did not have much left for anyone else.

I also think that there was a certain amount of fear. I was afraid of what I did not understand. That included being afraid for my own sanity, which I held in question for so many years of my life…even as a young person in my parent’s home.  I used to be filled with SO much fear…over LOTs of things. It is next to impossible to reach out to others from a position of fear. If I cannot understand and help myself…how can I help you?

As I have grown over the years…as I have conquered and banished a lot of my fear…I have found it getting easier to reach out to others. There is a real blessing when I am able to touch, and be touched by, those who struggle with the same things I struggle with. There are still those whose experiences and needs are too great for me to be able to handle. Yet, even with those, I can offer a kind word…or a hug…if the opportunity presents itself.

I have looked at what I need because I think others probably need similar things. Underneath all the issues…we are all human beings…people who have been damaged by the things of life that have happened to us. Some of us were born with issues…some of us were “given” issues by the sins of others…some of us have hurt ourselves. Yet, we are PEOPLE! We are NOT our issues!

I don’t need to be understood as much as I simply need to be accepted. Don’t get me wrong. Understanding would be NICE, but acceptance goes a long way, too! Acceptance, for me, also means being included. I don’t have to be included in everything a person does…or in every part of a person’s life. That is unrealistic…even for two “nonstruggling” people. But when you exclude someone from everything…or from all the key events in your life…that is not acceptance. Everyone needs to be accepted by SOMEONE. Acceptance does not keep people always on the fringes of things. Nor does genuine love.

I don’t need to be fixed…I need to be encouraged. Yahweh (God in the Bible) is the BEST “fixer” and He is taking care of that…one day at a time…one step at a time. I am where He knows I need to be. I can accept that. Can others? Can you?

I don’t need to be told how to live…or have verses quoted at me. I need to be walked alongside of.  There are times when I really need someone to take my hand and tell me that it will be OK…that “I” will be OK. I need to be reminded that Yahweh is in control…not as some pat answer that your duty requires you to tell me…but as a gentle loving reminder because you truly know it yourself from your own experience with Him. If YOUR walk with Him is not real and deep, then how can you help me with mine?

I don’t need to be thought of as “wierd”. I need to be thought of as someone who has fought many battles and who refuses to quit fighting. I need someone to “pass the ammunition”…not keep me from it…or judge me for not being able to reach it myself.

I need to be loved. Not pitied. Not superficially cared about. Pity and superficial acceptance are not real genuine love. Real genuine love seeks to help me better myself. Seeks to help me walk through whatever it is that I am walking through. Looks for and shares resources. Love is when you share the gifts Yahweh has blessed you with…with others…including me. Love is sticking around when the going gets tough…or when my struggles make me not the easiest person to be with. Love is when I cannot meet your needs, but you choose to hang out with me anyway.

Is there anyone out there like that? I know there are…but oh how rare they can be. There are some people I have met online who I believe are like that and I would like to believe that I would be the same way back. It can be easier to “love” someone online…to love from afar, but what about in person? There are some online friends whom I have met in person that I KNOW would be that for me if I lived close to them. We are “family”. It would be nice to have some “family” close by, though.

That brings me to the subject of congregations. We are, spiritually speaking, “family”. However, do we act like it? When people call the “church” hotline…what kinds of responses do they get? When the kinds of people listed in this little “funny” above call a “church” that says that they follow Yeshua (Jesus)…do they get responses that are similar to the ones above?

Oh, I know, they will probably NEVER hear those exact words…or course not! If they do, I suggest they run as far away as they can from those people! However, are the responses they DO get really just the same thing…only worded a bit more softly?

Where are the stretcher bearers in the body of Yeshua?

Where are the wise, LOVING, biblical counselors?

Where are the disciplers? The mentors?

Where, oh people of Yeshua, are YOU when it comes to helping people like US??? I fear that you have gone into hiding in your places of perceived safety where you can try to pretend that people like us do not exist. Or, if we do…we are someone ELSE’s “problem”. Of course, that is part of the problem…you don’t see us as PEOPLE, you see us as PROBLEMS!

Yahweh did not call the government to help us out…He called YOU…and ME…and everyone of His true children! We are to help one another. I help others as I am able to help. It may not be much…but I try. I try to comfort others with the comfort with which I have been comforted.

My number one source of comfort is Yahweh…Abba (Father), Yeshua (Jesus) and Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). Sadly, with a few exceptions, my comfort is primarily just from Yahweh. Yes, there have been a precious few who have actually been there for me in my offline life…but it has been a very few. I hold them in my heart forever.

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