By Ryan Keller
Director of Hope4Healing
She sat across from me, fighting back the tears, as she told me how her whole life was falling down around her. No part of her life was unaffected by the fear, isolation, and hurt that she was experiencing. She felt trapped and the need to compartmentalize her life in order to be a good mother, wife, and Christian. Yet, she had been betrayed; and worst of all, she felt she had no one to turn too…
This is not the beginning of some fictional novel; it is the beginning of the story of a person in need that I have the privilege to get to know through her story. We often do not get to meet the people we seek to serve through Hope4Healing; usually it is a voice on the other end of the line. This case was different as I was able to meet the individual we were about to help. What breaks my heart about this story is also something that might surprise you. Most of the individuals/families that we serve do not have a support system in their life that works for them; they don’t feel they can get effective advice from friends and family, they are unaware of the community supports in the area, and they don’t have a church in their lives to help provide hope. This family is different. They have a church, their family is close and wants to help, and they can maneuver throughout the community very well. So where is their struggle?
This individual had been hurt by someone close to her. The hurt shook her world to its core. Being a Christian, the fear and isolation that she is feeling is due to her belief that if she shares her hurt with another Christian one of two things will happen. First, if she shares her burden she fears burdening those she loves. Second, if she tells another she fears that they will not be able to help her, and will look at her and say, “I can’t help, I’m sorry.” In my heart I was crushed. When did it happen that members of the church were no longer the ones we could turn to in our time of sorrow?
At Hope4Healing, 90-95% of the people/families in need that we serve do not have a church. It is almost easier to for the church to help these individuals or families, because there is not familiarity or a bond. But, what about the 5-10% that is in church? Why does this seem, at times, like a more difficult population to help? How many more people are sitting near you in the church service feeling isolated, afraid, and hurt but do not feel as if they can turn to you for help?
I am not seeking to make anyone feel guilty or picked on by this post; I just hope that you would understand the reason why I felt crushed after talking with this person in need. We often feel as if we need to be all things to all people when it comes to our fellow church members; but don’t forget, Hope4Healing can help you, the Church, reach all people who are in need, even those next to you in the pew. We all need to remember that God has positioned us to play a specific role in His plan. Hope4Healing works under this worldview, and so we bring different people, filling different roles, together to help those in need. You don’t need to have all the answers; you just need a willing heart. Your role may be to sit, be quiet, listen, pray, and call Hope4Healing if you need us. You may have a more active role, but let’s work together to make sure those around us are not isolated, afraid, and hurt with no one to turn to for Hope or Healing.
As always, we cannot do this outreach without you. Please help us help others by signing up for our newsletter, making a donation, or becoming a partner with Hope4Healing. If you have questions, please email us at H4HQuakerdale@gmail.com or give us a call @ 319-233-2554.
Ryan Keller, Hope4Healing Director
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