Thank you to all of our faithful supporters & encouragers through the years. We
appreciate you so much and are excited to discover what direction Mountain
Haven will be heading as we seek answers, rest, and direction this next year. We will
be taking another year of 2019-2020 to reset and reorient our future after the last year of this health battle. We are hoping to have some direction and ideas in the next year. Thank you for standing with us.
MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $2700.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $957.00 Remaining Need: $1,743.00
Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened: 1.) Chris took an unexpected trip to Colorado to visit a close friend who just had a baby it was a wonderful short weekend. Kevin has been gone the whole month of October guiding hunts in Colorado and will be out working on our property for a couple more weeks in November. 2.) Both of the girls are doing excellent in school and are getting great grades and making new friends, the city life is very different than the mountain life and is providing lots of opportunities to connect with others. 3.) Still hoping and praying for Kevin’s wound that refuses to heal after his major surgery in April, will get better. It is currently not doing real well and we are exploring alternatives as well as attending weekly wound care appointments when he is not in Colorado (which he has been for the last four weeks.
Top Prayer Requests: pray we respond in meaningful ways to the needs of others
Mountain Haven Newsletter – October 2019
How to Truly Respond to Need
“I have found the paradox that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt: only more love” Mother Theresa
Need has been hushed in this culture. To need is to be weak and there’s pressure to
figure it out and do it yourself. Need is often linked to the idea that a person might have a
victim mentality if they are overly needy. I know the way we express need can make
others uncomfortable at times and challenge another person. I also think a lot of times in
Western culture we may inadvertently compare our need to the needs of others and, if we
are being honest, when we see others in desperate need there is a small part of us that
rejoices that we are not in that place. Maybe we look at ourselves and say we made better
choices, or we lament that this person has that particular personality that leads them to
believe and do certain things and that’s why they are needy; either way you look at it it
does seem like we don’t know what to do about need or how to perceive it.
I’d like to share four ways that I’ve been observing how people respond to need and
reflect on some possible underlying motives for these responses. These ways are minimize, ignore, deflect or pacify. To minimize some thing is to reduce it to the smallest possible equation, basically to take something and create an alternate more palatable story for why that need may be present. Often times when we minimize need it’s because the need is asking something of us and so our defense mechanism tells us that what is happening right in front of our eyes must not be as bad as what is being presented. Again we reduce the persons tears to a one time event, or we reduce the brokenness of their heart to some kind of defect in their personality and their inability to handle things, or we over spiritualize it and minimize that they are actually not trusting in God and we decide to encourage them so throw a spiritual accolade their way or tell them we are praying for them. Either way we have reduced the reality of what their need is into something that minimizes our responsiveness to it.
To ignore something requires much more intentionality than it does to minimize it. To
ignore something means to intentionally act as if it is not there. There are many reasons
why we do this. We are lazy, we are afraid, we are stuck in an entrenched pattern and
don’t know how to react differently, or we are scared. We fail to consider that the need in
front of us is a need we could actually try to meet. We ignore by becoming busy, not
trying new techniques, and letting our fear consume us so that we are blind to others. We
ignore because we are afraid if we meet someone else’s need we will lose more of what
we have. That is a fear most of us hold because we are under pressure to keep building our kingdom here on earth.
To deflect something is to change the direction by interposing something else. This isn’t
always intentional, it can be accidental, maybe because we resonate with what the others
need is and want to share our own need that is similar, or it can be accidental because
we are overcome by our own need in that moment and we can’t see or hear the cry of
another’s heart. Deflecting is easy so often because we feel awkward or we feel
inadequate to meet the need so we make up alternate conversations that create
conversation and give the illusion of intimacy without seeking any real responsiveness
from another, or cultivating connection with another. Therefore no real need is being
met, when in fact the deflecting may be creating more needs because of the person feeling so misunderstood and unknown.
Pacifying includes trying to bring peace to a situation by quelling the agitation or the
excitement of another. When there is a true need there can be a lot of anxiety and
agitation and uncomfortable feelings, and pacifying is just the opposite of meeting the
need, if anything it agitates the need because the passive aggressive way of trying to
bring peace only makes the person feel more unseen and unheard. When we pacify we
are trying to bring peace, or meet the need, in our own terms because meeting it any
other way will make us feel uncomfortable. Peace at any cost is not true peace.
I’d like to suggest an alternative which flies in the face of many of our beliefs, and that is
that we run headlong into the need. If our loved one, or our child tells us they have a
need- that we don’t judge it or critique it or wait to see how long it will last, or throw a
platitude or a scripture at it or try to determine if it’s real. But I suggest that we just ask
them how we can help or how we can be there, or that we just listen to it without any
feedback or judgment. Or better yet that we take to heart what they have said and we
follow up later and try to meet the need or meet the person where they’re at.
This approach often times feels very counterintuitive in our western world, where we are
self-reliant, independent and fierce capitalists who believe that economic freedom and
wealth is gained through intelligence and hard work and we can all get it. Therefore need
can be obliterated once and for all through acquisition and the right type of faith. We carry this over into our emotional relationships as well.
Facing need for what it is, is like facing a person who is bearing their heart and their soul
to you, a person who is willing to be vulnerable and naked emotionally about their need
for acknowledgement or their need for comfort or love. Most of the time, I believe we feel
insufficient or incapable to sit with need, or to acknowledge need or to try to meet need,
because too often we have turned our backs on our own need, or we have been wounded
in our own need. Therefore we learn to deny it because that’s what got us into trouble in
the first place -having a need. Subsequently, It becomes more difficult to recognize and meet real need in others.
What if today we started asking how can I help? And then actually did the help. What if
we said what can I do? And then listen to the answer. Or what if we started listening to
our own hearts that ask, what do I need? And we put those boundaries up with the
people that we need boundaries with, or we have that talk that we needed to have with
someone, or we were honest for the first time with a friend or a partner. What if
recognizing our need caused us to become different to those around us because
suddenly we were loving ourselves again with the same love that God loved us with. I
think the world would be a changed place if we could start to evaluate our response to
need, both our needs and the needs of others; and we then changed accordingly. Maybe we could be a less needy culture?