Thursday, 14 March 2013

"Pardon? I didn't hear you"

Sitting in a circle of comfy lounge chairs, cuppa's in hand, the discussion about 'showing concern for others' begins. This group of women who I have come to love deeply over the years of being connected through the body of Christ. A beautiful variety of women all in different stages, at different ages, in the middle of different circumstances; all encouraging each other and equipping each other to live out this thing called faith.

We discussed how we can be women who show genuine concern for others around us, regardless of our age, situation and season in life. Ideas like writing letters, making a meal or baking, helping with housework, making a phone-call, running errands, visiting people just for a chat, speaking a word of encouragement, helping to look after younger children for a 'mummy break', were some of the practical things we brainstormed to show others care and concern.

We discussed the barriers and walls that are put up by those who are wanting help but not necessarily wanting to be so outright and ask for it. Too afraid, too proud, too intimidated. Are we the one's who are doing the intimidating?   Should we not be in a place where we can be free to let someone who walks into the body of Christ know that there's no need for intimidation here because actually, "I haven't got it all together". We do that don't we? Assume that because of someones outward appearance, that they must always be high on the mountain tops and their times in the valleys are rare.

Should we not be living out this faith in a real, tangible, life - changing way? However God asks us to do it, whether big or small, seen or unseen?

There's a little saying that goes, 'people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care'. Such a simple truth. We must work at building these connections and showing concern to those around us, or else how do we expect anyone to get through the hardships in this life? How do we expect to be the light and the salt and a speaker of the truth if we don't have ears to listen to the needs of the hurting, the desperate, the discouraged? That's the not-so easy part; the listening. The stopping your mind from the formulating of answers to give to that person, instead of just having open ears to hear their heart. The learning to ask the questions of them, rather than the speaking of ourselves and our lives and our own little world.

One of the ladies shared a 'task' taken on by her lovely teenage daughter who was wanting to grow in the area of showing concern through better communication with others. She applied herself while listening to the conversation of the person, to purposefully seek out information that she could then turn into another question, which would extend the conversation further. Our pastors wife said we need to "be leaving people after conversations with a sense of being really heard". These are wise words that go far in showing genuine concern for those around us.

We discussed Christian cliche phrases such as 'I'll be praying for you' ... well, are we? Are we really praying, or are we just 'passing off' the person too hastily. People need our diligent, persistent prayers. Let your 'yes be yes' and your 'no be no' ... if we are saying we are praying for you, then we should we be living it out, we should be praying, until that persons need is met! A practical suggestion given was to keep a notebook by the phone for not only appointments and dates, but for writing out a persons prayer needs as they are talking, to be later transferred into prayer journals so that praying for them doesn't stay a 'well-meant' intention.

Jesus is our most perfect beautiful example of showing genuine concern for others. He didn't meet with people by invitation only. He didn't hide himself away in the temple and say to the people, "I'm here on Monday's, Wednesdays, and Thursday's - but only from 8am-4pm ... the other days are mine for my own purposes'. He lived out the message of the gospel. He poured out His body, not only in His ultimate sacrifice on the cross, but in the intertwining of mundane day-to-day life with the people around Him. He ate with them in their homes, He washed their feet, He walked with them, He went to them in their debilitating sickness. He entered into life with them; right in the middle of where they were at, and He loved them, spoke truth to them, showed concern for them; He really listened.

Isn't this what the Christian's life is? An intentional living out of the lessons we've learned? A moving of our hands and feet in the direction of another's life; or else are the lessons really learned or just a passing thought through ones mind?

Isn't all of life a pouring out of oneself in whichever season we are in and in whatever capacity we are asked? When we stay connected to Him through prayer and reading His Word,  He gives us ears to hear those whispers of His Spirit; 'such and such needs a meal', 'write a card to that person', 'tell that person I love them'. Genuine concern for others; will we be women who step out and show it, and in that stepping out, show them Christ?

I pray we will.


  1. Hello Elisha,
    Thank you for your kind comment at my blog and its lovely to meet another reader from Australia. From my short but sweet visit to your lovely blog I can tell we share the same values and ideals - we even read the same books to our children! I love what you have shared in this post. Those little whispers of His Spirit can lead to so much fruit when we respond in obedience and do what He asks us to do. You are most welcome to email me and I can then tell you a little more about where we live and so forth. May you have a beautiful and blessed day.

    1. Hello Ann,
      I thought the same thing about you in regards to your values and ideals when I looked through your blog too ... especially with the same children's books! Thankyou for your encouragement with this post, it's greatly appreciated. I will email you in the next few days! Hoping your week is peaceful and joy-filled.


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