Friday, March 25, 2011

A pair of caring ears

Sometimes all you can do is care.

I have friends who are going through some hard times - family difficulties, loneliness, questions about how to deal with people who despise you. A lot of the time, I don't have any answers of how to fix problems.

I listen. I tell them I'm sorry they have to go through that. I tell them I'm praying for them.

Somehow, when people tell me their problems, they seem to feel better. I don't give out many answers, but I try to encourage them that at least I care. That seems to be the best medicine for problems that don't have easy solutions.

When people have hard decisions to make or big problems, usually they aren't looking for people to tell them exactly what to do. When they get advice from a variety of sources, sometimes that can make a time even more confusing and difficult. They have so many opinions rolling around in their head that they don't need one more voice chattering away up there.

Also, I know that I don't have all the answers to life's problems. I've experienced problems, but not everything. I know that God is the only one that can truly tell them what the correct answer is. I don't want to be a stumbling block, giving them advice that doesn't coincide with what God wants, because I will never know the entire situation.

Usually, what people need is to talk it through. I know that when I have a problem, often I just need to talk about it out loud. I can usually figure out the answer if I just have someone who will listen and be supportive. I want to be that person for others.

Next time someone comes to you with a problem, stop and listen first. You might feel led to give some quiet advice, but listen first. Offer a set of caring ears and see where that leads.

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