June 20, 2018 Rainmaker

Desperation, Isolation, And The Power Of Friendship

A woman is totally exasperated because just as she thought her child-rearing days were over, she suddenly becomes the caretaker of a young child. A young woman flees an abusive situation and must pay for the same harm from which she escaped. A family sacrifices the familiarity of home for the risks of a border-crossing in order to save their lives and seek a better future. The tears in their eyes, their shoulders drooping. But to be lifted up by the hands of those they do not even know can allow them to tap into reserves of strength and fortitude to carry on.

Sometimes, the best thing we can offer is friendship. There may be financial needs and physical needs and needs we simply cannot meet. But a gentle, compassionate, curious question can deepen our relationships. The question “How might I help?” can give us the eyes to see and ears to hear tangible needs between the lines. Suddenly we see that even in our gentle inquiry, there are even more people beyond ourselves who care. “Can I share this need with others who may be able to help?” There is a light, a comfort, a newfound courage in knowing we’re not alone – even if it means we’re not alone in thinking about the needs and challenges we face.

When we are invited to act on behalf of others, we are acting with compassion and empathy that illuminate the Creators hope for reconciliation. And when we join hands with others who care, our lifting is strengthened – when my arms get weak, I know I am not lifting this friend alone.

Common Change cultivates a culture of compassion, empathy, storytelling, and belonging — a culture inspired by the words of Greg Boyle who teaches, “compassion isn’t just about feeling the pain of others, it’s about bringing them towards ourselves.” If you desire or are curious about this community that helps one another, drop us a line.