I’ve been meaning to ask … what do you need?
what do you need?
We believe everyone has needs, but each of us needs different things at different times. We believe God calls us to care for one another—in seasons of joy, transition, and hardship. We commit to listening and being present.Sanctified Art, I’ve Been Meaning to Ask
This past Sunday in worship, we explored the question what do you need?
The question “What do you need?” is sometimes frightening to ask, and even more so challenging to answer. It is challenging to answer, because quite honestly, we don’t want to inconvenience anyone, so we just let it go and say, ‘We’re fine.’ (But then sometimes secretly hold a grudge that the person didn’t read your mind and show up for you!).
When we are the one inquiring, and asking the question … it can be nerve wracking to ask, because what if we can’t meet the needs of the person who responds to the question? What if I think that their needs are crazy and irresponsible, or impossible to attain? What if I think I know better what their needs are than they do, and we disagree? What if they tell me to leave them alone … all the questions, so we either remain distant, disengaged, or we show up with our own ideas and answers and try to provide something that just covers up the pain that one might be suffering in that moment.From sermon on Sunday, February 20, 2022
We were also reminded of the story of Job and how his friends dropped everything at a moments notice to show up and be present with Job in his grief. What a gift to have someone just show up when you need someone to just sit and cry with you, right? I’ve been struggling with this concept, because Covid hasn’t always allowed this to take place, and so I’m wondering … where do we go from here? But more on that next week.
When we are willing to simply show up, be present, and sit in the ashes with the ones who are overwhelmed with grief, it is a sacred moment. When we are willing to ask the question … what do you need? Whether we can help meet that need or not, the vulnerability of the moment in asking and answering the question, becomes a sacred space. It means, I’m here now, but I’m not going anywhere, I will sit, or stand, or walk with you as long as you need. I’m here. When we ask what do you need, and sit back and listen, and hear what the persons needs are, not bringing our own assumptions and ideas into the mix … this is sacred space.
Rev. Remington Johnson, a healthcare chaplain writes “This being with one another is incarnational. It is a sacred act. Every Sunday, we do this. We come together and do this. We witness one another’s existence, traumas, needs, and spend time together. Sacred space and sacred time.”
Rev. Remington Johnson, Healthcare chaplain & masters in nursing candidate, Sanctified Art
Here are some thoughtful questions that Sanctified Art provides for us to consider and think about when engaging in a conversation about what someone might need?
- Share a memory of a time someone extended care for you. What did they do and how did it make you feel?
- Share a memory of a time you tried to extend care for someone else, but didn’t give them what they needed. What do you wish you could have changed about that experience?
- Share about a time you needed help, but didn’t ask for it. What do you wish you could have changed about that experience?
- What emotion do you feel most often: shame, fear, or anger? When you are in one of those spaces, what helps you move through those feelings?
- What’s a gift (tangible or intangible) you’ve received that you’ll never forget?
Trust me, there is so much more that I could write and ponder about this question of asking the question, what do you need… but for now, this is enough to ponder and reflect on. I pray that you are able to have a conversation with someone about some of these questions listed above, and that you will be able to just sit back and listen, and hear one another.
Peace of Christ be with you today and always!