The Tough Times
Jane recounts the stories of 4 women who ask for help within the same week. The first three exhibit various emotions from sadness to fear to anger. Jane has enough experience to work with the women and help them get what they need. But the fourth woman is almost silent. She takes the blanket and clothing she’s given, but doesn’t ask for anything more when prompted. This worries Jane more than anything and she says, “It is not good when the poor are silent.” She admits to preferring clients with overt emotions and frustrating stories over those who say nothing at all. It’s hard to help someone who doesn’t tell you what they need because they may have already given up.
At first it sounded strange to me that Jane preferred sad and frustrated clients. Wouldn’t she want to help the quiet ones who have no one to advocate for them? Then it hit me: the ones who have no one are in the most danger. They are the ones on the true margin of society who don’t reach out, but instead give up. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want help, and that’s the saddest thing of all. What would I do if confronted by a person who didn’t want help but needed it badly? I suppose I would pray for them because I don’t need their permission to do it. Prayer is powerful.
- How do you approach people who struggle but refuse help?
- What is a heart-breaking situation you have offered up to God?