I’ve heard several times in the last few years about how “hurt people hurt people,” and “we can’t give our children anything we don’t have and neither could our parents give us anything they didn’t have.” These two quotes have actually been really helpful reminders for me as I do some deep personal work through prayer, meditation, and therapy.

Tonight a pretty sweet thing happened in our home that made me wonder if maybe the antidote to “hurt people hurt people” is that “helped people help people.”

Here’s what happened:

After working hard in the yard and being covered with bug spray, it was finally time to come in for the night and get cleaned up for bed. I hopped in the shower just as my husband was putting my daughter to bed, only to realize I had left my towel across the bathroom, instead of throwing it over the curtain rod as usual. I called for him to please come to bring me the towel, but he had to leave my daughter for a moment to answer my request. As he was leaving her room, my newly 3-year-old asked him why he was leaving. He answered, “To help Mommy.” She pressed him, asking again, “Why?” He barely missed a beat and answered, “Because if someone asks for help and you can help them, you help them.”

Melt. My. Heart. This man. Our amazing Father God worked through him in the moment to not only teach my daughter, but to remind me that helping people as often as we are able is important. It can be as small as bringing someone something they forgot (like a towel) or buying someone a meal, just because. When I Googled this concept, there were even Facebook groups for people who want to help others. There are countless nonprofits we can serve in and through, there are churches, neighborhoods, local schools, food shelves, and so much more. There’s even research on how helping people increases our own happiness.

Perhaps even more important than all of those things (and they are important), is when we stop what we’re doing when someone asks for help or we see a need and help the person because God prompts us to, we are showing people what Jesus was and is all about. As people, we can be united in our desire to help others, regardless of age, ability, personality, or anything else that might typically divide us.

God wants to help us carry our loads, he wants us to ask for help, he wants us to trust him and walk toward him together, in community, meeting each other’s needs to the best of our God-given abilities.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)

“I pray that the God of peace will give you every good thing you need so that you can do what he wants. God is the one who raised from death our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of his sheep. He raised him because Jesus sacrificed his blood to begin the new agreement that never ends. I pray that God will work through Jesus Christ to do the things in us that please him. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21, ERV)

This summer, I pray that God will show you who and how you can help and that you’ll rely on him to help equip you to answer the call. And that you won’t be afraid to ask for help–God will call and equip someone to help you, too!