The moment you walked into my room,
It was a fearful burden I noticed you carried,
And as you sat I felt your gloom,
Toward the darkness you looked married.
Then when you opened up to me,
I started to see a trickle of relief,
You showed me how you could again agree,
To aspire to the place of good belief.
All my heart said was “Help me understand,”
For you were cast astray,
Then my heart lent you a hand,
To try and put your panic at bay.
What we did wasn’t anything special,
Beyond share a caring minute – a couple of tissues,
But it seemed to expose something essential,
To start to get to the bottom of the issues.
Counselling’s a job anyone can do,
Requisite mainly of a heart that cares,
Listen to most as all too few,
Relieving a soul without burden bears.
The Want of a Good Counsellor
How much can we thank God for good counsellors—whether paid, unpaid, professional or amateur? These are our mental, emotional and spiritual mirrors; people who will gently re-focus us toward a healthier direction that we perhaps do not see at the time.
The good counsellor has the “Help me understand” frame about them, whether it’s related to finding out about the initial problem or just how we’re going in general. They afford us the luxury of dropping our guard in complete secrecy. They’re a sanctuary.
An absorbing truth is anyone can be a counsellor. All that’s required is a listening, caring heart, an interest in the other person and discernment to know and courage to say what needs saying—and when to say it.
Counsellor or Friend?
This is not so much about the paid variety of therapy as it’s about the humble skill of helping friends. And sure, some have more of a flair for it than others, but we’re all uniquely placed to offer encouragement to those close by, and encouragement is not just about what we say—it’s often how we listen. It’s the caring that goes into it.
It’s easy to start. We just watch for not-quite-right body language, the angry demeanour, tiredness and fatigue; walking a hundred yards in someone else’s shoes will help. The best thing is we don’t worry excessively about our own concerns (without denying them) when we’re sown genuinely into others’ troubles.
When we parallel the friendship we can have with God with the counselling frame we’re motivated to be counselled by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit listens and then instructs the heart, if we’ll learn to listen for the still and small voice of the Lord.
Such a trustworthy ear and voice the Spirit is!
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Source: http://www.counselling-works.org.uk/marriage_counselling.html.