Christlife Posture: Loving Like Jesus

Topic: Caring for Someone who is Hurting

Suggested Approach: Choose 1 thing from each of the three boxes

OR Choose 1 from Media or Reflection + 1 from Scripture 

Media Excursions (Watch/read/listen and be ready to discuss Q's)

Image

  • Stained GlassJesus Heals (Holy Trinity Parish Church, Ilfracombe, Devon--Photographed by Steve Day) As you meditate on this gospel story, what do you think the woman was feeling before Jesus said what he said to her? What are the reactions of the people around this situation? What parallels to life do you see when someone is bold enough to reach out for help? How does the person who reached out need to be responded to? 

  • Bronze Sculpture: Ceritas (Britt Wikstrom) As you study the facial expressions on this sculpture, think about the interplay between giving and receiving demonstrated here. If it is often the case that in giving we also receive, how does that affect the way you think about caring for others in times of need?  How does it affect the way that you think about yourself as the one caring? If one of the persons in this sculpture was Jesus, which one do you think he should be? 

Video Clips

  • Short Film: Broken (Michael Fernandez) This film shows some different ways people encounter hurt.  Think of how you would show care to the individuals in each of these different situations.  Where does the woman writing the prayer find hope? How would you communicate hope to someone who is hurting?

  • Prayer for the Hurting (Hopeforbrokenhearted) Use this prayer to pray for the hurting in general or someone in specific. What truths of God for those in pain stand out to you?

  • All is Gift (LetterstotheExiles) How does God’s gift to us allow us to be a “gift to the world”--even his broken world?

  • Testimony: A Conversation about Pain and Grief with Greg Laurie and Steven Curtis Chapman (Pastor Greg Laurie) As these men talk about some losses in their lives (both lost children), what do you learn about responding to others in pain? What was comforting for them? How did they find hope?

Song

  • If You Fall (J. J. Heller) What do you think the songwriter is referring to by “Beauty and light will fight for you”? How can we stand with a hurting friend yet at the same time release them to the One who fights for them harder than we ever could?

  • I Don't Mind (Joseph) Can you imagine Jesus singing this song to someone who is hurting? Does it bring to mind any gospel encounters Jesus had? Why or why not?

Article 

  • Three Practical Ways to Help People who are Hurting (Jerome Stockert) What was new to you in thinking about the story of Elijah as he was hurting? Which practical idea are you already good at? Which one do you need to grow in?

  • 10 Ways Not to Help a Hurting Friend (Dave Furman) Have you had a well-meaning friend try to care for you in one of these less than helpful ways? What did it feel like? Which ones do you find yourself gravitating toward as you try to reach out to hurting friends?

Bible Study

  • Jesus Meets Those Who Are Grieving (Mary Thompson, RN, MSN)  Pay special attention to the section on “Representing Jesus to Those Who Are Hurting”.  What insights did you gain from answering the question and looking at the passage in John 11?

Reflection Options  

Journal  (Reflect on one or more of these questions)

  • Think of a time you were hurting.  What was it about? What were you feeling? How connected or disconnected did you feel to God during that time?  How would you have wished to have someone to come alongside you at that time (or how did someone)?

  • On the continuum of 1 (I can easily separate myself from the pain of others) to 10 (I easily get engulfed and paralyzed by the pain of others), where are you? How does this help or hinder you from caring for someone who is hurting?

  • What kind of support system do you have when things are tough? How can you lean on those people when you are overwhelmed in caring for someone else in pain? How can you help others develop a support system?

Quote Interaction (Interact by agreeing, disagreeing or otherwise engaging with the quote/quotes)

  • When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.  (Henri Nouwen)

  • Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength. (Frederick Buechner)

  • Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. (Mother Teresa)

  • For me, laughter is how we take a much needed break from the heartache, such that when we turn to face it again, it has by some miracle grown smaller in size and intensity, yet not disappeared altogether.  (Liz Curis Higgs in Only Angels Can Wing it)

  • It is when believers are out of answers, confidence, and strength, with nowhere else to turn but to God that they are in a position to be most effective. No one in the kingdom of God is too weak to experience God’s power, but many are too confident in their own strength. Physical suffering, mental anguish, disappointment, unfulfillment, and failure squeeze the impurities out of believers’ lives, making them pure channels through which God’s power can flow. (John MacArthur)

  • We do good deeds, but God works in us in the doing of them. (Augustine)

 Reading and reflection on Shaping The Journey of Emerging Adults

  • Read “Connect them to other growing adults” (pp. 137-138).  Developing a support system is important for times of pain.  Does the person you are helping have others in their life for support? Make sure that you don’t try to be the lone helper. How can you help them develop or strengthen their support system?

  • Read “Trusting Beyond God-Given Limitations” (pp. 228-229). The desire to help others can be sabotaged by a misunderstanding of what we can and cannot give.  Do you ever feel like Sylvie or Raymond in your caregiving? Which of the five unrealistic expectations do you fall prey to? How can you deal with that expectation (what is the truth)?

Explore Scripture

Meditate on one or more of the following passages. Always look them up in context.  Take some time to really explore the verse in relation to this topic.  According to these passages, what should we keep in mind as we reach out to those who are hurting?  Make a note of what you discover to share later.  See "Learn More About Ways to Study Scripture" below for help in getting the most out of the verse.

  • Psalm 34:18-19

  • Proverbs 25:11–12

  • Matthew 6:1-4

  • Matthew 25:40

  • Luke 6:31

  • Luke 10:25-37

  • John 13:34-35

  • 2 Corinthians 1:5

  • Galatians 6:2, 10

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

  • James 1:22, James 2:14-17

  • 1 John 3:14-18