What are you doing?

August 30, 2012 | 12 comments

Here’s an interesting observation to consider:


When you help, you see life as weak.
When you fix, you see life as broken.
When you serve, you see life as whole.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen
Are you helping, fixing or serving today?

12 thoughts on “What are you doing?”

  1. Help, need some more explanation of this…I thought helping was serving and serving was helping…not sure I “get this”at all, can you chime in a bit here, Evan? Or bloggers?

  2. I generally tend to think of helping and serving as one and the same thing. But I think it really comes down to your own thought about it. If you’re taking pity on someone, then you’re thinking that they are weak. But if it’s one of “how can I serve this person right now?”, with a focus of being loving, then it is serving. How it manifests itself is less important than how we are thinking of it.

  3. When I first read this, it gave me pause too. But then, to me, “serve” meant serving God which covers the “help” and “fix” through Christ. Kind of like the last part of a Mrs. Eddy hymn “My prayer, some daily good to do to Thine, for Thee; an offering [service] pure of Love whereto God leadeth me.”

  4. I agree that Helping is serving. I have always loved the way that Jesus “helped” all who came into His presence. I never thought of him as seeing those individuals as “weak”. My view was that he saw through weakness, suffering, inadequacy to the true view and helped them see themselves as god sees them. That is helping and serving. When I was growing up, helping and serving were the same thing. At the dinner table, my Mom would say, “If you want another “helping”, “serve” yourself” (A little humor there. As my wife would say, “Very Little Humor”!!!!

  5. A BIG subject, indeed! I have been called an “enabler,” (a negative connotation, for sure, tho not always intended that way), and also unselfish, loving (much better than the first). CS teaches me that I must love God supremely, and likewise, man, God’s manifestation, expression.
    A “weak,” “sick,” “unhappy” mortal is hardly God’s expression, man! So, how to love others when so many folks seem like mortals to me (including myself!)?

    Well, CS teaches us how to do this, too, but in the correct way…by seeing the truth RIGHT WHERE MORTAL MAN SEEMS TO BE. It is like seeing the round earth right where the “flat earth” seems to be; knowing the facts, the truth. To see ourselves and our fellow “mortals” (the so-called human condition, etc.) in a right way is how we truly love, and so love God, Truth. (Read Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, for the full science of these ideas! This book is transforming the universe, in my humble opinion.

    Let’s consider the good human stuff we do not as “enabling” but as rejoicing in the truth! This feels right, feels good, and along with this, comes power, for truth, held to, honored, applied…HEALS!

    Now we’re talkin’!


  6. Remen’s quote is a play on words that has to be seen as such to plumb the deeper meaning she is trying to convey.

    Helping is certainly serving in so many ways. But her quote stimulated my thought to consider my point of view when helping another. Do I seem them as weak needing my help? Or do I see them as complete whole children of God? We treat people according to how we see them. If we see them as weak, we’ll treat them as weak. If we see them strong and able, we’ll treat them that way, and even if they aren’t strong at the moment, they will get stronger because of our higher point of view. Then we’re “serving” Truth, rather than serving error–perpetuating the weakness.

  7. I don’t agree with these comments at all. What helps is to see someone accurately. If they’re weak and need help, they need outreach of help and support. Just seeing them mentally as “strong” and then walking on by violates the Good Samaritan story.

  8. I don’t think anyone is saying that you would “walk on by,” someone who needs help. I’m certainly not implying that. When my children are sick, I come to their aid, but I don’t hold them in my mind as sick. I see them healthy and well in God’s image, and this prayer makes them better. If I held to them as sick, they would not get better with my prayers. They would continue to suffer. Jesus said, “Know the truth and the truth sets you free.” It’s important to know the truth to bring freedom.

  9. There’s a difference between the roles of practitioner and parent and “ordinary friends”. My remarks were in regard to ordinary friends. In my experience in the CS community, there is way too much of ordinary friends just walking on by, maybe thinking good and absolute thoughts, but not bothering to actually offer practical comfort and verbal support, nor other kinds of practical help when possible. Especially for those who are ill or in other severe obvious difficulties.

  10. Speaking as a previously “professional fixer” it has been only recently I’ve figured out that I was often taking on roles, responsibilities and control that didn’t REALLY recognize God in control.

    It has been a very different journey to shut up, step back and let the Christ show God’s solutions to situations. To see what God is already doing on their behalf.

    Sometimes I still jump in and fix things but now it’s more about what my thinking is doing than anything. It has
    become a more effective way to help in my experience.

  11. Wow, such a simple ‘poem’ caused such a lot of dissent. It must have triggered some discomfort in some people, ruffled some feathers and then perhaps smoothed them down again!

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.