Today’s Word from Pastor Tom Kidd…
Ask people to tell you two things they couldn’t live without and the list can get pretty funky. “Air conditioning” makes sense, it’s hot right now. “Cruise control” would be on my list. Beyond the trivial we would find the heart of people; “love,” or “people I can trust.” Sometimes we would find “God” or “Jesus.” What would you find it diﬃcult to live without?
Forty-five years of parish ministry has shown me there are two qualities a person cannot live with… hopelessness and helplessness. These two, especially in tandem, will crush a person’s spirit and rob them of the will to live. Trying to live with these characteristics is a hill too high and a river too wide. Years ago, there was the story of the senior couple who decided it was better to die together than to try to live with one suﬀering with Alzheimer’s. Lying in bed he took the life of his wife of almost 60 years and then took his own. His note said there was no hope and he felt helpless. Tragic.
I get it, sadly. The battle can feel too much… can’t live with hopelessness and helplessness. They kill. While each of us can have moments where the challenges of life can seem too much, where we struggle for answers, most of us have not had such moments where the two killers feel they are having their way with our lives. Most of us. We may have financial messes, or relationships that are dying, or serious health issues, or… but for the most part, we have enough of a support network that keeps us oﬀ the suicide watch list. This is nothing trivial.
As a former state registered counselor, as well as a pastor, many an hour was spent sitting with people on the ledge of life. Literally and figuratively. I never pretended to have answers, rather what I could provide was a presence. I could sit with people, I could love them, and periodically I could provide a touch that was meant to convey that “You are not alone.”
You don’t have to be a pastor, and you certainly do not have to be a therapist, to provide what your “neighbor” might need. A kind word, and empathetic ear, a desire to authentically be present, is the stuﬀ of miracles. We all get caught up in our own story. We all are guilty of turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to a person who presents in need.
The accompanying photo continues to speak to my heart. Children can intuitively provide a spirit of hope and help. Maybe today God will bless you with an opportunity to be the hands or feet of our Lord. I am praying for that.
God bless you in your service,