What if, in reaching out to others, I grow weary and give up? Reaching broken hearts is a hard, slow process. What if they're slow learners? Likely sorting through the pieces of their own broken heart? Hiding most of their struggles; sharing but a few?
What if I say I'm too tired or too busy cleaning up my own mess, finding my own way to help them with theirs? What if I'm not there for them?
What if I realized that every look, every word, every act, even my attitude--or the absence thereof--is shaping their impression of God, encouraging or discouraging, making the way easier or harder--both for now and the days to come? And what if I kept that in mind every moment of my life? I'm afraid it would change the way I respond. But not afraid, for I know it would only make me a better person and it's part of accomplishing my mission of reaching hearts. Let me never lose sight of the high calling to which each of us is called. For what if that look or quick text is the very thing they need to keep going? Or even just knowing that I'm willing to help, that I'm praying for them, that I haven't given up on them? Or what if the opposite? What if I turn them away by my neglect, by my absence, by my coldness?
Oh, but I don't know what to say. So what? Say something. At the very least, hold them. Let them know they're loved.
So what if I'm tired of dealing with the same old problem? Help them anyway. It could change their life. (And don't forget, you yourself on an expert putting people through this one.)
So what if I'm too busy? Make time. They are more important.
So what if I don't feel adequate? Sure, someone else may be more qualified. Someone else could do a better job. But what if they don't? They are better off in your care than on their own. You are better able to care for them than they are for themselves. (And chances are, if you don't, no one else will and they will be left on their own.)
And remember, whether they are going through a difficult experience right now or not, you are shaping their view of God. Will they be more likely to follow Him all the way because of my influence? Or will it be harder for them to choose that path?
What if, even when it seems like I'm not getting anywhere, even when it's discouraging, I keep in mind the far-reaching results of my influence? Could it give me the courage to continue?
I'm making a new resolution: To not only be a safe, comforting, encouraging, trustable friend, but to go a step farther and refuse to give up on someone, even when it's discouraging.