An exhausted young mother tosses the question out onto social media, "Does anyone have any tips for getting a baby to sleep through the night?"
Commenters eagerly pounce.
We love to share our opinions. We love to share what has worked for us. We're eager to see our chosen method be successful for someone else.
I'm convinced that posts asking for advice receive the most comments of all.
She'll get answers touting the benefits of co-sleeping, Ferberizing, sleeping on baby's floor, rocking, Babywise, The Baby Whisperer, baby wearing, shushing into baby's left ear, crying it out, white noise makers, earplugs, vibrating bouncy seats, and the ever-faithful wisecrack about giving the baby Benedryl.
Another woman asks for help with a decision: "Which paint color do you like best for our kitchen? Peacock Attack or Blueberry Muffin Top?"
She'll receive loads of votes, leaving Blueberry Muffin Top at the top of the podium, but last on the list of enticing names. We love to make swift and easy decisions. It's satisfying to share our two cents, and we feel useful. Even in the smallest sense.
But then there's the woman who posts that she's struggling. Again.
"When will the family drama ever end? I'm so sick and tired of this. I don't think I can do it anymore. I can't focus at work. I'm so distracted and lame when I'm with the kids. This. Just. Isn't. Working."
Ah, yes... the social media downer. These are the posts we love to scroll right by without giving them much thought., except to type out a chipper, "Praying!" Maybe she's being dramatic or is just feeling lonely at the moment.
Either way, why should we get involved? It sounds like a private affair.
She might suck us dry if we reach out a hand.
She might start calling every day expecting something.
She might want to be like friends or something.
But do you know something?
While the circumstances she finds herself in may be private, a caring voice or gesture of friendship is always appreciated. Sometimes it's a lifesaver. Quite literally.
She might actually need you.
You might be just the one to help her rise to the surface and breathe in a gulp of fresh air for the first time in forever. (I couldn't resist. We're big fans of the Frozen soundtrack around here.)
Your words of comfort and hope just might be the ticket to freedom for her. She may feel the arms of Christ around her because of the steps you've taken in love toward her. When others scrolled right by, you stopped.
Just like the woman who touched Jesus' robe. She was making a desperate plea. But she dared not come right out and say. "Will you help me, Jesus?"
She came in the back door by simply touching him.
And He stopped and gave life to her wilting body.
Maybe your friend can't come right out and ask for help. Maybe she doesn't know how. So what if we just offered it?
So go ahead, send her a private message. Call to say that dinner will be delivered tomorrow night at 6:00p.m. Offer to meet and talk or watch her kids so she can just be for a while.
We love to give advice, but what if we loved to give of ourselves even more?
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.