How to Help The Hurting This Holiday Season
Luke Baker | November 20, 2017
As holiday season approaches so does a spectrum of emotions for all of us. Seasons that are supposed to be marked with thanksgiving and joy can just as easily be marked with sorrow and shame for many people. You may not be in a difficult season of life, but you surely know someone who is.
So how can you help someone who is dealing with these very real and difficult circumstances? Here are a few things you can do to help the hurting during the holiday season:
1) Be present-This may look different depending on your circumstances, but whether it’s a meal or a phone call, your first step towards showing care is showing up. When people are in pain they are looking for comfort in a companion more than advice from a teacher. We need to be a people who practice the ministry of presence.
2) Listen- Many of us feel as if we have to fix every problem that comes our way, but we have to realize that the person in front of us is not another problem to be fixed. They are a hurting person with a story in their aching soul. Ask questions. Actively listen. Be slow to offer advice, and quick to offer your ears.
3) Celebrate- As you listen to their story, pray for an ability to see aspects of their story worth celebrating, aspects they may not be seeing for themselves. No matter the season of life, we always have gifts to be thankful for. Graciously pointing out these gifts can give others something to be thankful for during this season of life where thankfulness seems scarce.
4) Invite- Hurt during the holidays often stems from loneliness. Be bold in extending an invite to allow the hurting individual to belong in your family and home. Opening up your home can create a space of peace and healing for those who aren’t experiencing these fruits in their current homes.
5) Follow up- The pain people feel during the holidays may ease up after the season, but it doesn’t completely perish. Let’s stay persistent and intentional in caring for those who are hurting in our circle of influence. There is no out of season in coming alongside the broken.
Make a plan of intentionally caring for a hurting person in your life during this holiday season. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just start with being present, listening, celebrating, inviting, and following up. God will work through your availability and authenticity to bring healing and hope to the hurting this holiday season.