I listened to the conference call, reading the emotions. One caught my attention. This was something distinctly unique yet eerily familiar. I paused. What was so familiar? Although I was one of the subjects of the call, I found myself stepping back from being engaged to focus solely on the emotional voices. I found myself hearing an echo of a conversation many years ago. I knew the answer even before the echo finished replaying in my mind. It was my emotional voice I was hearing. Today I was not the one doing the talking. It did not matter. It was my voice and my emotion. I knew them far too well. Whatever I thought about the situation just moments before had been hijacked by the old memory.
As I tried to tune back into the conversation I wondered what I had missed. I knew my response was going to be different. I had been blessed by a single act of kindness in the past. Perhaps today I could give the kindness I had received them to someone desperately looking for help.
The emotion is a tough one. It feels as if you are losing a battle that you thought you had won. Friends and supporters can empathize but they cannot help. You are all alone. Everyone, “from the wicked who are out to get me, from mortal enemies closing in,” (Psalm 17.9) is out to get you.
In that space long ago, someone I never imagined would help extended a helping hand. His act and the actions that followed changed everything. What seemed doomed became a turning point. I told others at the time that I never wanted to see what happened to me happen to anyone else.
On this call I realized it was so familiar that I experienced the old wave of pain and fear even though this time I was not at risk. I had walked in his shoes. It was time to pass on the gift. It made the difference for me. I hope it will do the same for him.