“Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! HELP!” –The Beatles
This song is on my phone as a ringtone. There are two reasons. First, I go through life so frazzled and frustrated that I’m always wishing for some help. Second, it seems that most callers are asking me for help of some form or another, which of course I’m glad to give.
It is a sad thing to watch people go through life isolated, neither giving nor receiving help. Perhaps no one is aware of this concept more acutely than gardeners. It is their nature to be helpful. The lessons the plants teach us as they respond to a little help make an impression. Gardeners are some of the most helpful people I know! Jesus understood about nurturing plants. “A battered reed he will not break off” (Matthew 12:20, NASB).
It was with this firmly engrained sense of helpfulness that my daughter and I found a baby robin among the flowers under a tree. Well, actually, the dog found it. Of course, that made it so much more imperative that we had to put this helpless bird safely back where dogs would not find it so easily.
Fortunately the fledgling did not appear injured from its encounter with the slobbery canine jaws, so we put him gently back into the nest above. We had no idea where the mother was, nor if she would still accept her now-tainted young. In the coming days, I could not bring myself to continue watching the nest. The thought of seeing a pile of baby birdie bones in place of our little charge was unbearable. We had done what we could to help, and had to hope it was enough.
Several days later as I was about to water two window boxes on the porch, I stopped, surprised. A young robin was perched on one of those boxes, his red breast mirroring the color of the impatiens growing there.
I tiptoed closer with my camera phone ready. The stealth was unnecessary. The little bird showed no fear even as I took his snapshot from two feet away. I want to think that he knew I wasn’t dangerous.
Whether this was the same baby bird we rescued, I will never be sure. I like to think his lack of fear was an expression of gratefulness. In reality, I was the one thankful that I didn’t have to witness his demise after having helped him back to his little twig home.
It saddens me to see people who will not share their troubles. Perhaps they do not think anyone will care. It could be that they have needed help in times past, but no one was there for them. I have had my share of sorrows, and I understand the crushing burden of loneliness.
God will put people in your life when you need them. Maybe not many people, but enough to open a small window to His heart, to show you His loving care. Many of us want to help, but we must find you first!
Read Job’s despairing words in Job chapter 6, and it will break your heart. He longs for help, but none is given. Even God withheld his comfort for this righteous man.
Acts 16:9 tells of the vision Paul saw of a Macedonian man asking for help. Paul gladly went to that area and gave spiritual help of unfathomable value!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – or to give it. We can’t assume somebody else will do it. Help. It goes two ways.