“30 Seconds is all she needed to get her answer…?”
Flying back from my conference in Hawaii, I found myself seated next to a woman who made me want to hug her. She told me that she had just buried her 60-year-old husband who had ruptured his spleen and she cried how she ached for her fatherless son. Although my precious neighbor had alcohol on her breath, her heart on her sleeve is what pulled me. I put down my book to listen. I told her that I too had suffered and asked her if God was present in her life…If she had found His help in prayer. She looked at me and said, “I need more of God in my life!” I extended my hand and said, “I commit to praying for you and your son that God will give you the wisdom and the strength to persevere.” Her eyes teared as we prayed, and I was amazed how minutes after she called on Jesus she glowed. She said she felt invigorated and she thanked me over and again for giving her this (tangible) hope. We talked some more as she asked me how to talk to God, and I said: “The same way that you talk to your precious son.” She beamed and I thanked God with a quiet whisper.
I find it so easy how one can become numb and consumed with our own issues that we ALL, at times forget about others. After all, we are the centers of our existence. But isn’t this the DNA of Americans? Or what we are supposed to be? That we can feel the pain of the newly-made widow or recognize the helplessness of the homeless child – or for that matter, anyone who is hurting – and long to help…Might I add, in a matter of seconds we can feel and discern, and if we’re willing, be able to apply a spiritual ointment on a wound that nobody but the other person can see.
I pray that I never feel so disconnected that I forget those who helped me when I needed help most! I pray that I never feel so self-absorbed that I turn my back on helping others! Please don’t feel ANY condemnation, That is never my intention, nobody can save the whole world – this is beyond each of us. I’m just talking about those everyday moments when God gives us the chance to help and we don’t because, oh! we’re too tired, or for numerous other reasons. I could well have given excuses on that flight! I was tired, and moody. It was almost a 5 hour trip. I wanted to read and sleep, but deep inside my passion and love for people over-road it all. This lady needed me and God helped used me to possibly save her life.
We will never know…..
According to the American Association of Suicidology, 42,773 people killed themselves last year. This is the average of one person every 12 minutes. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America. More than half of the people who kill themselves suffer from depression. The NIMH estimates that in the United States, 16 million adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2012. That’s 6.9 percent of our population! People are more depressed and vulnerable than ever before in their lives. Imagine how many opportunities this gives us per day. How many people we may meet – most times without knowing it – whose lives we can save with just that simple ‘hi’ or warm smile. It takes a second – shorter than writing the word – and almost supernaturally, GOD’s mouth becomes your mouth, his hand becomes your hand, his heart consumes your heart- all, with a simple 30 second SHIFT of willingness.
I have often reminded clients and friends that the quickest way to overcome depression is to help someone out of it. It can be done by emailing a ‘thank you’ note or leaving a voicemail where you tell someone you love them. You can do it when you escort someone out of your office, look him in the eyes and wish him ‘a good evening.’
This friends, is the stuff that makes life rich with a contentment that no money could buy.
I leave you my love and prayers,
P.S. Yes, the woman’s life changed – but so did mine. Please share this wonderful strategy with others and emphasize how 30 seconds that cost you nothing could potentially save them everything.