A few days ago, this happened:
That's a picture of my daughter sobbing on the ground for her milk. Which is also on the ground. Less than a foot from her.
When I asked her what she wanted, she said, "Milk." When I asked her to grab her milk, she said, "Momma do it." I explained to her that she was closer, that she was capable, that the milk was right in front of her, etc. She didn't care. It was Momma or nothing.
I'm a very rational person and, resultantly, have a tendency to value reason over emotion. So I found this entire display beyond amusing, to the point that I pulled out my phone and recorded it, with me chuckling in the background. During the video, I asked her again what she wanted and tried to help her see how she could get what she wanted. But as I was doing that, the strangest feeling came over me that she didn't need a lesson, she needed love. At that moment, she looked up at me and held out her arms for me to pick her up, and that's exactly what I did.
She gave me a long hug, and I reveled in it for that tender moment. When she stopped crying, I asked her if she wanted her milk, and she nodded. I asked her if we could get the milk together, and she nodded again. I leaned over and, still in my arms, she reached down, scooped up the milk, and started drinking it.
Soon after this incident occurred, the words of Jeffrey R. Holland came to mind, where he implored us to:
...cease withholding our means because we see the poor as having brought their misery upon themselves. Perhaps some created their own difficulties, but don’t the rest of us do exactly the same thing? Isn’t that why this compassionate ruler asks, “Are we not all beggars?”11 Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at least in our case?
It's easy to look at people's problems and think of a dozen ways they could fix them, if they would just try. But sometimes, people don't need a solution, they need a shoulder to cry on. They need to know they're not alone. They need to know that somewhere, someone is willing to get in the trenches and fight alongside them. They need to know that, however capable they are of getting the milk themselves, Momma is willing to help sometimes, too.
I hope the next time I see that need, I'll recognize it a little more readily.