Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Praying Is Not Enough
When I went through my break up, I remember telling my friends via a group text message that the relationship was over. My friends expressed a lot of concern, through text message, with some saying that they would pray for me. I can always use a prayer, especially if there is a higher power listening. But at that moment, praying for me was not enough. Actually, I feel like my friends don’t have to tell me they are praying for me. If you are going to pray, just do it. It is between you and God. Telling me “I am going to pray for you” via text message doesn't really do anything for me when I am feeling down and out.
While I don’t want to sound unappreciative, I believe only stating the cliché line “I WILL PRAY FOR YOU” when a friend is in need is a cop-out. Don’t just pray for me. Pick up the phone and call me. Talk to me. Find out how I am doing. Come visit me.
One thing we all have on this earth is time. And when you give someone your time, it speaks volumes. It’s the greatest gift you can give someone. Especially when they are in need of a friend. I use to be guilty of the same thing (and I am still not perfect at it). Texting is so convenient and it takes only a few seconds but it isn't enough when you have a friend in need.
After college, I had a friend that randomly texted me "I love you" and it immediately raised red flags. Why? Because she is not an overly emotional or expressive person, which is why I became worried. Something told me that she was reaching out for help. So, I stopped what I was doing and I called her. During our conversation she told me about her depression and that none of her other friends realized that she was crying out for help. At that moment, I was so glad that I called her. While I didn't know it at the time, a few years later I discovered that she tried to commit suicide around that time. I can only imagine how I would have felt if I didn’t call her that night and she ended her life. I don’t know if I could have ever forgiven myself.
Don't get me wrong, I am not perfect at reaching out to my friends and family but I am working on being better. I've blogged about this before, but I see it happen time and time again in group messages where a friend reaches out to everyone about something troubling that has occurred in their life and everyone responds with an "I’ll pray for you” or "I hope you feel better" and continues to go about their day. While I am sure God (and the person in need) appreciates your prayers, I am sure they both would appreciate it more if you picked up the phone and called the person… or got in the car and drove to see that person. Remember, the best gift you can give someone is your time. It’s free.