On the Giving or Receiving End of Things?
October 20, 2020
In Bridge of Hope, Neighboring Volunteers are trained to help – and to be on the giving end of things. They seek to lessen anxiety and fear by offering the gift of listening. They seek to increase feelings of hope and confidence by giving words of comfort and encouragement. They give of their time and material possessions. Case managers are also trained to help – and to be on the giving end of things. But what happens when the Neighboring Volunteers and/or case managers unexpectedly find themselves on the receiving end of things?
I think most of us are more comfortable with giving than receiving. Recently, this was clear to me in a new way. Due to a physical need and a short stint in the hospital, I found myself on the receiving end of things. Nurses, doctors, friends and relatives were attentive to my needs and were quick to give of their time, resources and care. What a blessing it was to receive words of encouragement and prayers from those who know me well and care about me. But even more special were the calls and texts from the families I have been working with in Bridge of Hope. The tables were suddenly turned; I was in a position of need and they were helping me.
Being on the receiving end of things is not always comfortable, but sometimes necessary. It makes me more grateful and aware of my vulnerability, even mortality. It makes me more empathic and compassionate to the families we serve, who find themselves suddenly and unexpectedly in a position of need and not wanting to be there. This was evident during one of my recent launch nights when the woman expressed her thanks and appreciation to the Neighboring Volunteers she had just met. She needed them to know how she felt awkward and uncomfortable – but very grateful. And suddenly, the Neighboring Volunteers were on the receiving end of things – receiving the gift of her trust, gratitude and appreciation. So, where are you today? Are you on the receiving or giving end in your life right now … or maybe it’s a little of both?
Bridge of Hope Lancaster
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