When We One-Another One Another

In their book False Assumptions, Henry Cloud and John Townsend tell of an Christian client named Roy.  Roy struggled with anxiety and depression to the point where he constantly thought of suicide.  His Christian friends told him, “Just trust in the Lord” and “Take some time off and rekindle your walk with God.”  One friend offered the pious advice, “Let God’s rod and staff be your comfort.”  Roy did spend more time in the Bible and in prayer, but the depression and despair was just relentless.  One night he sat alone in the dark with a loaded revolver ready to take his life.

What saved Roy was a neighbor who came by to borrow a Phillips screwdriver.  He sensed something was wrong, and asked Roy what was wrong.  They started talking.  Roy talked and talked and talked.  He poured out his heart to this neighbor.  The neighbor just listened, asked some questions, and offered no advice.  He then invited Roy out to dinner, and they talked some more.  When Roy got home, he unloaded his revolver and started down the road to recovery.

What Roy needed was not pious platitudes and pious God-talk. He didn’t “just need to read more and prayer harder.” What Roy needed was what God intended for us all— to share his life and his struggles with someone who cared about him enough to listen. God worked powerfully that night through the listening ear of Roy’s neighbor. That is often how God moves in His mysterious way his wonders to perform. Sometimes He parts the Red Sea. Sometimes He works in circumstance. But sometimes He works through us when we care enough to one-another one another.