In the last few weeks, the media has posted quite a few stories on the who’s who and what about the who’s who of Hollywood. One incident in particular has graced the magazines, Internet and newsrooms. About a month ago, Owen Wilson, a comedian who has made his mark in the movies, tried to commit suicide. It seems we have heard that several comedians of the last 20 years have tried successfully or unsuccessfully to end their life. It gives us all cause for reflection. Was this a shock to his friends and family? or did they see something traumatic on the horizon? I wonder how many people hide the hurt, depression, and darkness in their life behind laughter and smiles. It is probably more than we realize.
The Bible tells us that “man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” I am afraid that we take for granted that people will hide what is really going on inside. At what point to we start hiding the feelings of our heart from others. As children our parents could tell if something was bothering us without us having to say a word. We can tell with small children especially a stuck out lip or tears. Even in a church setting many people are not comfortable showing or relating to others when they are in sorrow over something or battling problems in their life.
I think it is time for those of us who name the name of Christ to look deeper. Many times people will say, “I’m fine.” when their world is falling apart. We then may think how can we help them if they won’t share what is going on?
One way is to be men and women of prayer. When we pray how often do we ask the Lord to make us sensitive to the needs of others. Gordon, my husband, at Heavenly Heartburn has written a great article on being a sensitive leader like Jesus. When I don’t know the answers to questions, I can pray. When I see someone is hurting, I can pray. When the Lord brings a person to my mind, I can’t help but think he has done this so I might lift them up in prayer. God honors and blesses the prayers of his children. Prayer can open our eyes to other’s needs.
The second thing we can do is follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says regarding the Holy Spirit that “he will guide us into all truth.” How often does the Holy Spirit nudge us with the feeling we are not getting the whole story when talking with someone. Are we moving so quickly through life that we do not stop and listen to others and wait for the Holy Spirit’s leading? When we meet people outside of the church setting, do we take time to stop what we are doing and just listen to what they are saying? To often, we wave across the store and move on without speaking. It could be the Holy Spirit was waiting to lead us and we blew him off.
It could be when talking to others about their lives that it is exactly what you think…then again it may not be so. We should all pray for the Lord to lead us to people who need to be encouraged. Then when we see them face to face, take the time to listen and be lead.