Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Standby Shoulder, An Earnest Ear

Happy New Year to you all. It’s the first post this year and I trust it would bless you like others have. For me, and this I pray for you too, this year would be specially different. There would be a special difference in every area of life. That would make the year remarkable and memorable. I guess we all have certain things we are looking forward to and I know by Divine grace, they’ll be achieved.

I hope the title of the post will be the appropriate for this post. I feel it’s important that it does, so that by remembering the title after now, the message would be refreshed in our minds. As I have come to appreciate these parts of the body more after 2 recent incidents.

Sometime last year, a young Nigerian attempted to bomb an airplane flying into America. The news was perceived from different angles by different people as all other news we hear. However, what moved me the most was a reference in a dailies article to this young lad once saying he was lonely. A little more was said on him feeling set-apart in ideology from a few around him. And sincerely it gave me concern.

Not long after this, an acquaintance of mine mentioned a comparative story of a lady who just committed suicide, leaving behind her child who was less than 4 years old. She had lost her husband a year or two before then and was having a few challenges, finance being the major. Again, I felt really concerned.

My conclusion was this, or rather a question that rose in my heart was – would a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear to talk to have made a difference? I strongly believe so. For this young man for instance, the tell tale signs of him needing the shoulder and ear (peharps mum’s/dad’s) was when he observed his loneliness. His situation gradually took a better part of him and he became willing to die, even if it was for a cause he alone believed in. This lady was probably unable to find a shoulder to cry on, an ear to talk to in order to unburden her despair, she also became willing to end it all, because she didn’t feel she had a cause to live for or the will to survive any longer.

My challenge to all is this, identify a standby shoulder and an earnest ear and grab it when you begin to feel discouraged with life, feel lonely, feel broke, feel intimidated, feel sad or any other negative feeling. Even if you do not seek counsel at that time, you need to be able to unburden before you get over-burdened and then probably lose hope. I even have a list, God and my hubby being top 2.

Another side to it is this; we may actually be saving a life and not know we’re doing it by being a standby shoulder and earnest ear. Sometimes we need to be discerning enough to allow that “chatter-box” to talk, or unwind that “quiet one”. You could be one to your parent, sibling, colleague, neighbour or even the next passenger in a bus. It could be at a time when they need hope re-stirred in them. And we are the only ones available to do so.

On a final note as we continue in the year, don’t forget to get discerning as your shoulder, your ear, your smile, your touch, your words in season could save a life.