Last Wednesday while pulling lesson plans out of a notebook I asked my English student how her week had been. This is a normal way of starting class because it allows her to practice small talk, and since the answer is always good I wasn’t really paying attention while asking it.
Instead of the normal response though she looked down at the table and shaking her head said “so many problems.”
Suddenly the lesson plan didn’t seem all that important.
My student proceeded to explain some problems she was having with a rebellious teenage daughter which included among other things
- Skipping school with forged notes and parental excuse forms
- Telling the school her mother’s phone number had changed (it hadn’t) and then getting a friend to send messages using that number excusing her from class
- Creating a second Facebook account for herself that her parents didn’t know about
- Failing classes because they were too “boring”
To be honest I was pretty overwhelmed and didn’t really know how to help (single young men with no children don’t have much rebellious teen experience). Yet the pain in this mothers eyes challenged me to do something about the situation.
As Christians in a broken culture we have the opportunity to interact with people struggling with the drama (crisis situations) of life. And though we may not have all the answers, God calls us to enter into that suffering with them for the sake of the Gospel.
There are a number of ways to minister in the midst of drama, but here are the ways God led me to help my English Student.
- Offer Sympathy-The one thing a suffering person needs more than anything else is someone who will simply listen
- Offer Personal Assistance-It didn’t matter that this rebellious child would respect me even less than her parents, asking “how can I help?” still had tremendous healing powers
- Offer Insight-Share lessons that the Lord has taught you along the way that can help them in their time of great need
Of course in this situation it’s also necessary to pray for the student, preferably right there after getting permission.
People around the world are overwhelmed by the drama of their lives and desperately looking for someone to help. Sadly many are too busy (or burdened by our own drama) to stop and help, so there is a greater need than ever for Believers who would bind up the wounds of those who are hurting instead of crossing to the other side of the road.