There are some situations that beg us to listen and to respond in affirmation.
These are particularly the kinds of circumstances where people with us are vulnerable.
The amazing thing about vulnerability, though – and this is power – is the vulnerable moment is ripe for either the creation or destruction of confidence.
Because hearts are open in vulnerability, hearts are in ‘record’ mode. Experiences are taken within the fathoms of memory.
If we treat the person with disdain, in their vulnerable moment, we can observe their spirit fall into an abyss, before they recover. They may recover in a moment or an hour or a day, but the gravity in the experience is recorded in the same way trauma experiences are.
See the destructive power in the abuse of others? Sadly, hardly anyone has not given or received such abuse.
Now, here is the opportunity.
Here is what we can do to build into lives by building others up.
Especially in the vulnerable moment, when persons before us are in ‘record’ mode, when they’re ripe and ready to encode the experience they have with us, is the moment to listen, to affirm, to go there way, to be gentle and kind. Especially in the vulnerable moment, we care for the vulnerability of this soul when we listen and go gently with them.
As we do this, God does something in our midst – in us, between them and us, and even in them – to make of the moment something of Him.
Such moments are the making of belief, because God is present and real in the connection achieved. Overtures of compassion and kindness through gentleness and respect are given and received. And particularly the person receiving observes the goodness of God in the giver of encouragement and in the moment itself.
We think trauma experiences are powerfully negative, and they are!
But ever more power is in the kindness of God that empowers someone in that listening moment.
Think about the times in your own life where you simply needed to be heard. Think about how open you were. Remember how receptive you were to both help and harm (when someone decided not to care). Recall where you were met and where you were missed. You know how vulnerable you were.
No matter how tough we are we have all had these moments.
It’s our privilege and pleasure to listen to those who are undergoing trial, and we especially realise this when we’ve been on the receiving end of such care.