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Book Review - Helping Those Who Hurt
by Angela Doreathy Watkins
04/17/07
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Compassionate and Practical Ways to offer comfort

H. Norman Wright writes this book as a person who knows firsthand about helping others through trauma. He is a licensed therapist and certified trauma specialist, he also suffered loss with the death of his son at a young age.

After forty years of counseling he's convinced that as many as one-third to one-half of all people he's seen didn't need to come and see him. That is, they wouldn't have needed to see him if they'd had a trained pastor, lay caregiver, or knowledgeable friend to meet with. He is all for professional counseling when it's needed, but many issues can be resolved with the help of a friend who is willing to learn how to minister to others. And as Christians it is not an option to help or not help others. This is what the Christian life is all about - ministering to others.

Helping others includes experiencing genuine interest and love for the individual. We can listen and rely upon the power of God for knowing how to respond, but we must also have a genuine interest and love. If it's not there, you can't fake it, and your friend will know if you are. Proverbs 27:9 "Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friend's counsel that comes from the heart" (AMP).

Timing is another principle. Proverbs 15:23 "A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment - how good it is" (AMP). The correct answer spoken at the right moment is needed.

Hebrews 10:25 says, "Let us encourage one another." Your encouragement serves like the concrete pilings of a structural support.

IF YOU WANT TO HELP ANOTHER PERSON, just be there. If you want to help another person, just listen. One of the greatest gifts one person can give to another is the gift of listening.

It has been suggested that successful communication consists of seven percent content, thrity-eight percent tone of voice, and fifty-five percent nonverbal communication.

But some listen because they care and this kind of listening provides unlimited opportunities for real ministry in people's lives.

Develop a Support System: Over the years the author came in contact with more and more churches that have developed an ongoing ministry for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

First in 1993 at the World Trade Center, next in 1995 in Oklahoma City, then in 1996 during the Olympics, and finally in 2001 at the World Trade Center again. We experienced a twenty-first century "Day of Infamy" - and life in the United States has been altered radically.

Early examples of trauma are recorded in the Bible. Consider Job, who lost his family, farm, and health suddenly and by violent means (Job 1:13-19). David had several close (and no doubt traumatic) encounters with death that involved animals, soldiers, King Saul, and giants (I Samuel 17:1-52; 18:10-11, 27; 19:8). These events affected his personality and altered his immediate family.

Three Stages of Recovery: thinking emotional mastery The final stage is the mastery stage. This is when your friend finds new meaning through what she's experienced, and her perspective becomes that of a survivor rather than a victim. Who has the greatest potential to become a survivor? A person who has a relationship with Jesus Christ and a biblical worldview.


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