Helplessly Helpful


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With so much neglect, abuse and addiction running ramped in our society, what do you do when you want to help someone you really care about but you just don’t know how to help?

imagesUndoubtedly, every one of us has faced an emotional, spiritual or physical difficulties that we can be confident that others will survive. After all, we did. But helping a friend with something that we have no understanding of can truly be a challenge. The people we love do not deserve inadequate assistance–not on their good days and certainly not when their need is exposed and vulnerable. Half-hearted counsel from someone who cannot relate to the crisis at hand is a bit like offering them a squirt gun to put out their house fire.

I’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of help during my grief. “Don’t worry, you can always have another child.” “At least you don’t have a lot of memories with your daughter.” Logic doesn’t always help. I get it, because I tried that method of helping for many years but I have leaned now that true compassion respects other people’s boundaries and that includes their emotions and their will. You and I cannot fix every problem and unfortunately, letting other people make their own choices can be a lot harder than taking control. It’s also very difficult when they are ready for help and we don’t know what to do. In that situation I am learning to follow the example of Jesus’ disciples.

Act 3:2-8 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.

If you are trying to help someone with circumstances that are far out of your league of understanding, don’t try to forge up feelings of empathy or fix it with advice you’ve never had to take; instead simply direct them to the One who is able to really help.


Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their confidence conflicts; it is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Losing our Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at




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