Do you hate to ask for help? Does your prayer request seem inconsequential? Do you feel like your pain or troubles or needs are somehow smaller than everyone else’s? I notice this frequently: people asking for prayers or help and then qualifying it with something that sounds like this, “I know it’s only insert major loss or health problem which is no big deal in light of other’s people’s problems, but would you mind doing x for me?”
Wait a minute. Stop right there!
There is no shame, there is no need for explanation, no need to qualify your needs or prayer requests. My mother is not one prone to deep philosophical musings (that’s my job), but she says this about pain: “When it’s your toothache, it hurts.” Why don’t we allow ourselves to acknowledge and ask for relief when we hurt? This includes mental, physical, spiritual; our own and those we love.
Just as comparison can steal our joy, we allow comparison to steal our pain. And when we do that, we don’t ask for help whether it be prayers or a ride to the doctor. I fight with myself over this frequently. I don’t want to bother anyone. Here’s a fun story to illustrate my point: I was planning to go to the gym with a friend when she got home from work. While waiting, I decided to start cooking a pot roast. As I opened a can of tomatoes, I used my finger to lift the can lid open – big mistake – and sliced my thumb. Blood was everywhere but I cleaned it out and wrapped it in a dishtowel. Just then my friend texted, saying she’s almost home. I wavered about responding to her. I didn’t want to bother her with my thumb. (FYI, she’s a nurse.) And while I was not in pain, there was lots of blood. I called her and asked her to come over to help me. She wrapped up my thumb and off we went to urgent care for steri-strips and a tetanus shot. Could I have gone there by myself? I suppose, though it would have been messy. I thought about it this way: If I knew my friend needed a ride to urgent care for something like this, would I consider it a bother or be happy to help?
Why do we try to dismiss or diminish our needs? Is it because we don’t want to be vulnerable? Do we lack trust in the other’s response? Do we feel like we are a bother? Whatever the reason, I want to encourage us all to ask for what you need and allow others to bless you with their response. And if their response is less than a blessing to you, well, it’s good to know where you stand. And when you are blessed, you will soon have the opportunity to bless others.
Copyright 2019 Deanna Bartalini
Image Copyright: Simon Staford, Unsplash.com (2016), CC0/PD
This article was originally published at CatholicMom.com and is shared here with permission.