Reaching Out To Those Who Are Hurting!

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Reaching Out To Those Who Hurt 2 Sometimes life hurts! Have you ever seen the face of someone who has lost hope?  I have…hundreds of times over as I drove through Atlanta.  I saw unwashed hands reaching out, eyes full of despair, and utter hopelessness from a life in shambles.  I often wonder as I slip something to them through the window of my car or deliver donations to a shelter, what is their story?  What brought them to this destination of absolute hopelessness?

There are countless reasons people find themselves at the end of their rope barely hanging on, but one thing is for sure, they are in crisis. This can either be by their own doing or circumstances out of their control.

What defines a crisis?

The dictionary says, “A crisis is usually unexpected and can lead to an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society. Crises are deemed to be negative changes, especially when they occur abruptly, with little or no warning. More loosely, it is a term meaning ‘a testing time’ or an ’emergency event’.”

If we look around, people are going through all forms of crisis situations every day that alter their circumstances.

A crisis or series of crises can bring some to dire conditions of homelessness, yet some crisis situations can just turn our lives upside down and leave a wake of devastation in its path.

That devastation could include…

  • Anger and Despair
  • Families in disarray
  • Loved ones gripped by fear
  • Finances in shambles
  • Emotional distress to the point of a broken spirit
  • Broken relationships
  • Broken homes
  • Loss of everything…and so much more.

Giving out money, clothes or gathering food is easy, but physically standing in the gap with the person is a “boots-on-the-ground” experience.

Unless someone intervenes as a life spirals out of control, it can be catastrophic. A personal crisis is one of the loneliest places you will ever find yourself.

I remember when my son was killed in an accident, it didn’t leave me begging on the street, but just the same, my life was filled with great despair, and the world I once knew was unrecognizable. I was in crisis.  It is only by the grace of God and intervention from those who loved me and helped me on the difficult journey, that I am here today writing about this.

Holidays are really hard on those in crisis, especially when everyone’s life seems to flow with plenty, and the person in crisis has lost so much. Whatever the loss…emotionally it can take its toll, especially if they are grieving over a lost loved one.

Elizabeth Elliott once said, “Pain is having what you don’t want, or wanting what you can’t have.”

How many people do you know that are in pain because they have something they don’t want like cancer, wayward children, unexpected accident, unfaithful spouse, unemployment, a sick child?… and the list goes on and on….or they want something they can’t have like a child that has died, a healthy body,  to walk again, to rewind time, to have another chance…and oh, so much more!

That person could be a stranger, our neighbor, a close friend, or even someone sitting on the pew with us at church.

How can we as Christians reach out to those who hurt?

7 Ways To Help In A Crisis

  • A huge abundance of mercy and love mixed with excessive grace can help calm the raw emotions and stress. God extends his grace to us in our sinful condition and didn’t point fingers or condemn us.
  • Above all, pray for them consistently and intentionally.
  • Sometimes you may not have the answer or the know-how to really fix things, but just being there could mean the difference between hope or despair….sometimes even the difference between life and death.

Woman Unwell And Lying On Sofa

Just saying, “I am here!  You are not alone!” breathes life back into a weary soul.

  • Don’t just say a bunch of empty words to help them at that moment. Mean what you say, and say what you mean. Remember. Countless people in crisis are already struggling with trust issues caused by broken trust. Keep your word.
  • Be prepared to intervene or help in any way possible. Sometimes that is not easy or even comfortable, but so necessary. Seek outside help if needed.
  • Don’t talk about the person to others, keep the matter confidential.
  • Give them a power verse to focus on each day and encouragement to memorize the verse. Help them begin a quiet time with God.
  • This is a great verse…

 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keeps thee will not slumber.  Psalm 121:1-3

I will lift up mine eyes

I always remind myself that even though my circumstances were different, I know what it is like to need help.

“God, show us your ways.  Open our eyes and hearts to the hurting.  Give us your mercy and love.  Let us wrap our arms around the whosoever’s in the name of Jesus and love them as they walk the storms of life!”  Thank you Lord for being our Lord and helper!  In Jesus Name!

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Leave a comment | 10 Comments


  1. I’m in crisis … And just by reading this, I feel a lot better. Its amazing how good you feel when you focus on helping someone else. Thank you and God bless you

  2. Thank you for sharing. I am also in crisis and experiencing many of the things on your list. I am thankful to the Lord for those He’s brought my way to help during this time.

    • Barbie, Tim and I continue to pray for you. Even in your time of crisis you spread encouragement to all you touch. Thank you so much for stopping in for a visit. Blessings!

  3. Cathy, your words are an important message during this season.My brother is disabled by a mental illness–I am grateful that he is in a situation where he receives care. Still he is lonely and appreciates when someone listens to him. I pray that my eyes will be open, my ears ready to hear when when I have the opportunity to give grace to someone that needs it.Thank-you for visiting and leaving a comment at my blog.

  4. Mary Geisen says:

    This is beautiful Cathy! Everyone has experienced a level of hurt in their lives and being mindful of how we can help is so important. Your list was practical and comprehensive and your verses were perfect. I am blessed that you stopped by my place which gave me a reason to pop over here. Have a beautiful week!

  5. Crisis hurts badly especially when you are without Jesus. We can pray, reach out and stand with those hurting. The Christmas season causes us to look back and feel sorrow that some are no longer with us, but if they are with Jesus, the pain should not hurt so much.
    Thanks for sharing at “Tell me a True Story.”



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