Coaching Tip #11: Help Someone Who Is Right In Front of You

Are you overwhelmed, maybe paralyzed,

by the current condition of our world?

Ask yourself? Who can I help right now. Today.

Who stands right in front of me and needs my help?

I woke up Monday morning with intention, and motivation. Much of this was due to the fact that my focus was set on particular goals I had established for the week ahead. I had put thought into not only what I wanted to accomplish personally, but what I could offer to others in service, kindness, and love. I was up and ready to move in that positive direction.

As I do every morning, I first went for the coffee, then headed to the office chair where I spend my first wakeful minutes in my Bible passing all that thoughtful intention through the hands of God to be sure it lined up with his ultimate will for my day, and week to come.

Passing the living room, my husband said, “There’s been a shooting in Las Vegas. It’s bad.”

Derailed.

Another tragedy? More dead? I am unable to keep up.

Purposeful shoulders turned saggy as I plodded off to get my bearings in front of truth, but that gratification alluded me. Instead, I mindlessly read words, blew on steam, and avoided my anxiety. I said a token prayer, got up, and quickly moved into production mode due to a commitment that got me out of the house early, thankful for the distraction. But by mid-morning I was back home, immediately drawn to a screen that looped footage of distress the size of a concert.

I had planned to eat cucumbers and chicken for lunch that Monday morning, but instead I sat numbly on the coach shoving massive amounts of pasta into my face, while commentary rolled on. Then I hopped on social media to check out the action there.

Scroll. Scroll. Scroll.

Oh, how horrible. Unbelievable. Maybe I should find a photo of Vegas and put words about “Thoughts. Condolences. Prayers” over it. That way everyone will know I care.

But I couldn’t do it. Who is “everyone” anyway?

Instead, I did what I’ve been trying to practice for some time now. I chose Step 1 of the Jeremiah Method: Stand and Look.

Stand means to stop. I literally stood still in my kitchen, overlooking the second plate of pasta, thinking about why I was eating what I chose the day before not to eat? Why was I planning to watch another hour of news footage when I already knew the horror and the outcome? Why was I wanting to look at other people’s photos of Vegas with Pray written in pretty cursive overlays while mindlessly pushing a lifeless hollow heart on my phone?

Who am I really helping with this insanity?

What the hell am I doing?

On Monday, and Tuesday, I am drawn to screens like an addict.

How many days have passed from the last shooting, hurricane, earthquake, terror attack? Maybe I’m due for my shot of heroine in the form of human disaster?

Again. What the hell am I doing?

Standing at the counter I pondered all of this (I literally Googled, “Why Am I Drawn to Watch Trauma?”). Confused. Anxious. Stuffed with carbs. Unfocused. Distracted. I chose to look at all that and kept looking.

Then came the grace. A text.

Someone needed help!

I had a choice to make. I could choose to sit in my home and worry about the ludicrousness of carnage that already happened, assisting no one, or I could choose to go help where I was just given opportunity.

I hesitated.

Oddly, I wanted to numb my stomach, get more details on a manic gunman, and let an online world know that I would be praying.

The absurdity slapped me silly.

I was doing NOTHING by sitting there online, tuned in, stressed out, but informed. Really?! What good does it do to post about how bad things are and type Pray?

Am I actually praying? Doesn’t it still count when no one knows I’m praying (maybe more so–Matthew 6:6)?

Okay, I know I’ve just offended someone, so let me say that, of course, offering to pray brings comfort to those who need it during times of distress, but I’m pretty sure that while thousands were scrolling and typing “Pray”, strangers were helping strangers. Men were protecting women. Heroes were saving lives. Doctors, officers, pedestrians, waitresses, tourists, everyday people were responding to opportunity right in front of them!

Maybe instead of endlessly blabbing about the condition of our horrible world we get our fattened, informed, living bodies out of the damn house and go help where there is opportunity down the street.

Today’s coaching tip might seem obvious, but it’s not. Sometimes it takes tragedy to slap us. Remind us. Be an example for us. Today’s coaching tip is what happened in Las Vegas.

Hundreds of strangers helped the person right in front of them.