The other day a woman called our church office needing to talk to someone.
When I got on the phone and introduced myself, she asked if I was the leader of our Celebrate Recovery ministry. I said, “No, but I might be able to help you.”
And she opened up and started to share her story.
She was distraught.
She was from out of town and didn’t know anybody here. She said that people had been nice to her, but she didn’t have anyone to talk to. So, I said that she could talk to me.
She told me about some difficult circumstances she was dealing with, and then confessed that she wanted to get high.
But she was trying to stay sober.
I offered to help her find an AA or NA meeting, but she had already talked to someone about that and knew about some meetings that were available.
I asked if she had a sponsor. She said, “Yes.” And I asked if she had made that call yet.
She said, “OK,” then…
She hung up on me.
Now, I hope that she hung up abruptly so that she could immediately call her sponsor. But the way she said, “OK,” leads me to believe she didn’t. Her tone was more like, “I’m not getting what I want from this guy, so forget it!”
Unfortunately, I’ve seen this too many times to count. This isn’t the first time I have made a sincere offer to help someone only to be rejected – and it won’t be the last.
And this is one of the hardest things about ministry.
It is hard to watch someone struggle, but it’s even harder to watch someone struggle because he or she refuses to let others help.
Likewise, it’s hard to watch people reject Jesus when you know the help that Jesus provides.
It’s hard to watch people hurt each other because they refuse the peace of Christ.
It’s hard to watch people hate on each other because they reject the love of Christ.
It’s hard to watch people live aimlessly because they dismiss the meaning of Christ.
It’s hard to watch people keep themselves trapped in cycles of abuse because they rebuff the freedom of Christ.
It’s hard to watch our country tear itself apart because we deny the morality of Christ.
We try to talk ourselves into believing that the reason we’re stuck is because no one will help us or that no one is able to help us, but deep down inside we know that’s not true.
Help – the eternal help we all need and long for – is sincerely offered by Christ.
So, how do we respond?
Do we reach out and let Him help us?
Or do we hang up the phone?