Crisis Line

 

Like many people I spent Sunday watching the Academy Awards.  I have a love/hate relationship with this show, but some how they manage to keep me engaged for more than 3 hours.  One commercial after another, I hang in there anticipating the award of Best Picture.  Somewhere buried in the middle of the Oscars they gave the award for Best Documentary.  I am not a documentary watcher, these days I look to comedy to bring the medicine of laughter to life.  This category however, caught my attention.

The nominees were read and I made my private vote.  I had a feeling and sure enough they picked my movie, "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1. This little film documented Crisis Hotline employees manning phones to save the lives of a vets considering suicide.  Today I watched it.  With resounding calm the individuals took calls of veterans holding on to a string of hope as they contemplated taking their lives.  Desperation, exhaustion, had overtaken their once vibrant bodies on alert to protect their life and the lives of those they loved. The conversations were empathetic and compassionate but not overly emotional.  Peace and breath eased through the lines.  Phrases like “I’m not going anywhere”, “I’m going to call you back”, “help is coming”, “you are doing a good job” were spoken with love and sincerity.  

It made me think, in this life we are here to be the hotline, the stretcher bearers, the search and rescue for anyone God has placed in our path. Wounds deep or light barely scraping the soul, wounds temporary or long standing, it doesn’t matter. We are here to be givers of such love and at the same time, we need to prepare ourselves to be receivers, the harder of the two roles.

There up on the stage the director and producer gripped their Oscars.  Ellen Goosenberg Kent said, "We want them (the Vets) to know it's brave to reach out for help.”  It’s brave to find a safe place to be vulnerable, to decide not to walk your pain alone.   There is no shame in asking but we think there is, that somehow we look weak and incapable.  But nothing is further from the truth.

 Today consider the help you need no matter how big or small and then ask for it.   Or today, no matter how big or small, offer your help to someone in need of you.   

 
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