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Help and Hope | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Help and Hope

At least once a week, someone crosses my path in horrific circumstances. Sometimes, I can help them. Sometimes, I cannot, but I give them referrals to organizations and groups who can.

Though I may not be able to directly help them out of their circumstance, I work to give them what I can – hope.

I have often walked in their shoes.

  • I have been betrayed by some who should have loved me most and should have defended me from harm.
  • I have lost everything in my world twice in a lifetime.
  • I have struggled as a young person, couch-surfing from one friend’s house to another’s.
  • I have knelt in church on a Sunday morning, in borrowed clothes, with my husband and children, the morning after our home and business burned and we had no idea how we would survive.

The most powerful help we can give those in dire straits is wrapped in a package of hope and tied with a bow of encouragement.

Sometimes, short term help comes bundled in a straight-jacket of discouragement:

  • You can’t fix this.
  • You can’t solve this.
  • You are incapable of doing anything to improve your situation.
  • We will save you from yourself. And you will do what we tell you to do.

In the long run, the short term help given to nurture dependence becomes as much of a burden as the original problem.

I believe these people are sent across my path precisely because I can give them hope. I tell them I have lost everything, been desperate, and not known how I would survive. But with some help, I worked through those issues.

Then I add to my pep talk – “I have faith in you. I know you can work through these problems. Use the help you can find, and work your way through this one step at a time. There may be setbacks. Don’t let them stop you.” They are added to my prayer list.

We never know how our message of hope empowers others. This spring, I spoke with one man in a lose-lose situation with no way out. I had no idea what the resolution of his problems would be.

Several weeks later, he came to me and told me the afternoon of our talk, his burdens had gotten too heavy, and he was ready to end it. Our conversation convinced him to try a little longer.

His path is not easy, but he continues to work through his problems. Each month, his load is a little lighter.

In the Hunger Games, President Snow said, “Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective.”

As a caution to those who offer hope to others…Snow continued…”A lot of hope is dangerous. Spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.”

If you offer others too much hope and empower them to solve their own problems, there will be some who are threatened by your message. They may try to snuff your message. Ignore them.

Be the light in the darkness, the candle in the wind, and together we can raise the spirits of more people than we will ever realize. Never underestimate the power of faith.

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