There's a conversation that goes on in my head when I hear myself say, "I need" something. It goes a little like this:
Me: I need ______ (fill in the blank)
My mind: Oh, you need? You know what that means? You're needy. If you're needy, then you're lacking something. So, put on your big girl panties! Suck it up! Do whatever it takes! No one wants to be around someone who is needy, so keep that to yourself.
Conversation over. Often I allow that voice in my head to frame how I view "need" and plenty of other things. But the truth is that need is an open door for compassion to come in. And that IS a good thing.
I was having brunch with a friend who recently had surgery and she was talking about the people that had come around her and helped her during her recovery. She had a need for support and she was unable to do it herself. So she shared her need and friends answered in a big way. Community and kindness- isn't that the way it's supposed to work?
While Jesus was dying on the cross, among his last sayings, was a statement of need. "I thirst." The son of God, the source of living water, was thirsty himself. And with those two words Christ's humanity collided with human kindness. In John 19 we read that the soldier soaked a sponge in wine vinegar, called posca- the soldier's drink of choice. I used to think the soldiers were mocking by giving him vinegar, but it really was an act of kindness. Apparently there are times when even adversaries can be compelled to kindness when presented with a need.
Don't allow pride to keep compassion out. It robs you of a blessing and robs others of being a blessing to you.
Reflection: Is it hard for you to admit that you need something? Is it pride that makes it hard? What would happen if you shared your need and allowed someone to show you true compassion?