“The problem when you are a strong, capable self-confident person, is that more often than not, people think that you don’t really need things like comfort, reassurance, loyalty and guidance. People are most likely to look at you and say, “ She doesn’t need this”, “She doesn’t need that”, “She’s already all of this and all of that”. But then the truth is that most probably, you are a strong, capable, self-confident person because you built yourself brick-by brick into that person; because you HAD to BECOME that person; because you had determination enough to make yourself into the image that you knew you needed to become. At the heart of many strong, confident people, is a heart most longing of the things that most others simply take for granted. ~ C. Joy Bell C.
What an eye-opener! And yet, when I think about it, I can sure relate to that. I have needs, but many do not see them. YOU may have needs, but feel that nobody recognizes them, because they expect you to be so strong. I can also think of many people I usually see as being so strong, and I would never guess there was anything wrong in their world. But even strong people are human and have needs.
Once, when I was at a school reunion, I had the opportunity to talk with the woman who had been the most quietly beautiful girl at our school. I flippantly said that she must’ve had lots of boyfriends, since she was so beautiful. She was an amazing woman – still beautiful, quiet, and strong. She very calmly answered, “No, I didn’t. I was really very lonely. For some reason very few people even talked with me, much less boys asking me out.” I was shocked. Maybe she was so stoically beautiful that everyone was just too intimidated by her. I only finally got the nerve to go talk to her all those many years later. I sure had her pegged wrong. She definitely had needs – for just the basic high school experiences of friendship and dating and who knows what else.
Often people who have the greatest needs, even for normal things that people take for granted, never show any outward signs of their needs – those who take their own lives, and later people who knew them say they would never have imagined that person doing such a thing; or people who seem so very “normal,” who actually had all kinds of unmet needs stewing around inside them until they explode in horrific rage through public shootings or bombing. I guess it’s best not to assume I know what a person is like, or is feeling, or needs, but instead to just reach out and talk to them, even when it might be outside my comfort zone.
Loving God, fill me with your strength and courage
to really talk with people,
to get to know them and understand them,
so I may notice their needs and reach out to them in love.
Keep me from making assumptions about what someone may need or not need –
but to care enough to find out the truth,
and at the very least be there for them, to support them.
Help me to be your heart in action.