“Blessed are those who keep justice. Blessed is one who does what is right at all times.” ~ Psalm 106:3(World English Bible version)
I recently learned a lesson and the place I learned this lesson is where I saw this quote. Well a slightly varied version of it actually. For those who didn’t know, I am a caregiver by nature. But the way I care for others has changed a bit over the years. It’s not so much hands on care as its more helping to heal the insides, or the thoughts and feelings, of others in my community. Thanks to social media and a dear departed friend, that same care is spread around the world. There are times tho, that I get a little overzealous when I’m trying to help someone, like this time.
Not long ago I got a phone call on a helpline that I’ve been blessed to answer for some time now. The woman who called explained to me that she was desperate for help. As she told me her story and how awful she felt, I reassured her that she wasn’t as bad as she thought she was. I also told her I was proud of her for calling and that she was doing the right thing by calling. I said I would do what I could to help her.
A couple days later I picked her up and brought her to meet a couple of friends who could offer much of the same help, if not more than I could. A couple of days after that, I’d gotten another call from this woman only this time she needed help to get food for her and her 2 children. After telling her of the resources in town I discovered she needed a ride. Since I was the only person she knew, I offered to give her a ride.
While on my way to get her and our ride to the facility, I remembered that a pastor worked there. I thought it’d be nice if the pastor came and said a prayer with this woman. There was one problem. I never asked the woman if she wanted to pray with the pastor.
When we got there, I thought I was discreet when I asked to speak to the pastor but I wasn’t. Also I’d given the person I spoke to some information about help that’s available to others in the community that probably visited this facility. The problem was that this woman didn’t want the facility to think she was associated with the help that I was talking about. All of this upset the woman I was helping and she let me know it in no uncertain terms – and I deserved it.
While she was with others at this facility, I waited in another room. As I was waiting, I was beating myself up thinking, “How stupid could I be?! I crossed her boundaries and now she’ll never ask for help again!” Just then I saw the above quote on the wall. The first word that came to mind was integrity, doing the right thing for the right reason. I began to feel a little better. I realize that even tho I acted impulsively and my actions caused her to feel disrespected, my heart was in the right place.
On the ride home, she again in no uncertain terms told me how she felt. I calmly tried to apologize and explain that I understood my actions were wrong, but my intentions were pure. I told her I was only trying to help her get thru her stressful time. When I dropped her off I didn’t expect to hear from her again. Thankfully she did contact me the following day and with calmer heads we worked it out.
In this hectic and chaotic world we live in, many of us try to help others around us and this is good. However sometimes we act impulsively, cross another person’s boundaries and don’t think before we help. Maybe we do it because we’d appreciate someone doing it for us if we needed help. We may also think it’s the right thing to do, but the person we are helping doesn’t see it that way. We need to be mindful of how the person we’re helping feels. We need to be mindful that what we perceive as help can actually be perceived as meddling and overstepping another person’s boundaries. Whatever we do to help, we need to be sure we’re doing the right thing for the right reasons, not because it’s how we’d want to be helped.
Thought for the day: Remember, “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ~ Rumi
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