Already seated at one of my favorite Italian restaurants, I was ready to eat lunch. It was a hot day and I had put in quite a few miles on the road. I was even thirstier than I was hungry. The server was friendly, attentive and prompt.
The first time I was asked this question, I had just begun to eat my salad. This was repeated a few more times as I completed the salad and enjoyed my entree. The best servers in restaurants can anticipate your needs and respond without asking these types of questions.
Why did he need to ask me that question? He was probably taught to ask the question. I believe he was genuinely trying to be helpful. He asked the question and responded to my answer in a very polite way.
This experience got me to thinking about how we react to others in need. How many times have you known of someone who was experiencing a difficult time and you said the words "Just give me a call and let me know how I can help."
When you said those words you really meant them. You were trying to be as polite and helpful as you could be. However, most people that are in a difficult situation don’t want to be a burden on others. There is a difference between this situation and the restaurant example above. In this situation the person will probably tell you he or she will call but then walk away with no intent to get back to you.
If you know someone who is in need, find ways to help him or her and take action. Do it in a way that respects their privacy and desires. Even if you can’t do something to ease their hurt, there are several things you can do to encourage them and demonstrate someone loves them.
Get out your pen and write a note of encouragement. Invite them to your house for a meal or deliver them a meal. Share one of your favorite books with them. Pray for them.
Helping and encouraging someone does not have to take a significant amount of time or energy. Demonstrating your love is powerful. It can have a long-lasting effect on other’s lives.
Next time you are talking to someone in need, don’t just ask how you can help. Make sure you follow your words up with acts of love and kindness. There is someone who is depending on you, whether they tell you they are or not.