When visiting family in New York City, we would ride an elevator in their building. It had the usual floor numbers, a red “emergency” button and the regular elevator features. But it also had a small pad that would illuminate that simply read, “Help is on the way”. I always found that phrasing to be fascinating and somehow quite comforting.
While there were never any problems that caused me to use the “help” button, just knowing that other pad was there gave me a great deal of joy. Not just in the elevator but in life.
“Help is on the way”. What a great thing to hear when you are in need. It doesn’t imply that you will be instantly saved or even how long it will take for someone to arrive. It simply lets you know that someone out there is aware of your situation and they are taking action to get to you.
I thought about the darkest times in my life and how desperately I needed to hear that phrase. There were no promises that the problems would be instantly solved or even that they could be solved. But I found so much power in believing that I had to continue on until this mysterious “help” arrived.
Think of yourself in the middle of a heated battle. Outnumbered and overpowered, you feel the creeping feeling of hopelessness. The desire to simply give up is overwhelming and you feel yourself growing weak. But then someone yells, “Help is on the way!” It is just enough to bring that second wind back into your heart. You fight on, not because you know you can win, but because you have to at least survive until help arrives. Maybe it is simply the idea that now you have a finite goal. Something to fight for when you feel all else is lost. “Maybe I can’t win, but maybe I can stay on my feet just a little longer until help arrives.”
I think when people are really struggling, they need to hear that phrase more than “It gets better.” or “You’ll be OK.” or “It will work out.” When someone tried to help me by saying one of these other things, it felt false and hollow. I didn’t believe it would get better or it would work out or that I would ever feel OK again. But there is something so powerful to me about the idea that help is coming. I can’t argue that point. It gave me something to believe in that was stronger than myself. You may be alone now but someone else is coming. When? Who knows? How many? No way of telling. What do they plan to do when they arrive? Got me.
But…you are not alone in this fight!
There is power in hearing that phrase. Whether it is from a friend, a family member, a stranger or even a pad located in a NY elevator. We need to know that we are not alone and it is also our responsibility to let others know that when they need it most, “Help is on the way.”