Sunday, February 2, 2014

Focusing on Others

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So often we start or steer a conversation with something that interests us. 

For example, friends Susan and Jane see each other in the church foyer and have this conversation:

"Oh hi, Susan." Jane excuses her way past a few people until she stands by her friend.

"Hi, Jane." Susan barely eeks out a smile. Her eyes seems focused on some thought captivating her attention.

"Are you planning to attend the ladies' retreat? It's this Saturday, and there'll be loads of chocolate, you know."

"I'm not sure. Can I think about it? I'm sorry. I need to go." Susan walks away.

Jane had no idea Susan had something bothering her. This is understandable since she didn't know what was happening in Susan's life. 

Sometimes the primary thought in our mind blocks the ability to consider the cues revealing a need given by a person we know. 

Consider the need:

A mother learns the different cries of her baby. One sound indicates discomfort, another a need for sleep, another for hunger, and another to be held/touched. She is able to sense the correct answer because she has a close relationship with her little one.

Jesus understood the needs of those He met. 

*For the woman at the well He knew she wanted water but needed living water, so He spent time with her at the well .
*For His disciple Peter, Jesus knew Peter needed to have the opportunity to demonstrate his faith, so He let Peter walk on water.
*For the children, Jesus called them to His side when others tried to send them away, then listened to boys and girls.
*For the five thousand, Jesus knew their hunger and fed them with a few fish and loaves of bread.

There are so many more examples. 

Jesus also considers our needs, knowing when to allow moments to teach, rest, etc,  and expects us to do the same for others. 

What could Jane have done for Susan in the above example? Well she still wouldn't have known Susan's needs at the time, but maybe later in the day she could ______________ (you fill in the blank)

When addressing a need, focus only on the need. 
Do not get sidetracked by other issues. 

May this day be one that makes you smile, brings sunshine to your part of the world, give you an opportunity to show consideration for someone in need, and give you rest at the end of a satisfying day. Feel free to stop back to tell others who are here about your day. I'd love to rejoice with you or pray as is needed.


Janice said...

Mary, my son asked for prayer for what he has on his agenda today at school (Baylor). Thank you for praying.

Your post really makes me think abouf ways I can be mord considerate of the needs of others. Pray for more discernment to know needs iz a goox place to starg.

The print is so small that I can't chdck for typos before sendinv so I ask forgiveness for typos.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Well, I have kept you son in my thoughts. How did his day go?
As for typos, I find I do them, too. Don't worry about it.

Here is a prayer for you:
Heavenly Father,
Janice's son has asked for your guidance for today. I don't know if he has a concern about something specific or if it is a very busy day and he wants to do be sure to get everything done. Please make your presence clearly known to him throughout each hour. Then Lord, Janice brings up the issue of wanting to discern the needs of those around her. If there is something she could do for someone, even just spending time, please show her in some way. Thank you Lord for using our talents.
We love you Lord.

bonton said...

Another wonderful post, Mary!

It appeared that Susan was abrupt in her conversation, which should have been a signal to her friend, Jane - to call or stop by Susan's house later in the day, and make sure everything was OK, and offer her help and/or prayer, for any possible problems.

Janice's suggestion to pray for discernment in the needs of others IS a wonderful idea!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Yep, I agree in your conclusion for Susan and what Jane should have thought to do.

I was thinking about how many times my conversations may see that way to others. I hope not. I'd like to be aware of others needs. But then again... I certainly will try to head this post as well.

Thanks for stopping by today. Always love to chat with you.