Picture this. Your situation is critical, you feel like you are in a desert, it is pitch black and you cannot find your way out by yourself. You need help, so you turn to those you believe may be able to lend a helping hand.
The scales come off your eyes in such scenarios, you get to know the kinds of people that you have surrounded yourself with:
1. Onlookers, the narrators.
These play the role of reporters, they come for the story and nothing else. They will inquire extensively about the how, when, where and who. They will be kind enough to sympathize but not empathize. Sometimes a kind word is not enough, you need someone to stand by you by their actions. “Sorry” isn’t sufficient when what you really need to hear is “what can I do to help?” Not all who ask questions care about what you are going through. Some may want all the details so that they can narrate the story again.
Need I say more? We have all met them, and know their impact in a dire situation. Zilch. These play the role of Eliphaz in Job’s desert.
3. Hands on. The soldier.
These get in the trenches with you. Gladly so. They believe in action first, then questions later. All they need to know is how you are, then immediately followed by what they can do to help. When the situation is tougher than you think you can handle, these are the kinds of friends that you want to stand with you, those who make sure you understand that you are not alone, they got your back.
Push will come to shove and you or someone in your life will need soldiers to stand and be counted. Which one of the above will you be?