What Do You Need?

Hands Connecting, Susan Cohen Thompson

Paul, the apostle, wrote Timothy, his protégé, a letter of encouragement from his prison cell, a letter we now know as 2 Timothy. At the end of the letter, Paul shifts the focus onto himself, expressing to Timothy his own needs, and then asking Timothy to come visit him. It is a poignant example of trust and reciprocity between two leaders of the early church. 

We were created by God to be social beings who collaborate, work together, and need each other’s company. Yet, we also need focused times of silence, rest, and the peace of our own company. Our needs fluctuate between connection and space as we do this dance of interdependence. Naming what we need isn’t selfish. It’s truthful. It’s clarifying. Asking for help is vulnerable, but it’s neither a bother nor an inconvenience when the other person senses you are open to receiving either their “yes” or their “no” in answer to your request.

When we lived in England, we raised our kids far away from family. We missed deep connection and longed for friendship. Two other families we enjoyed from our church also had families far away, so we asked them if they’d like to meet up every week, just to eat together and share highs and lows. For the next five years, we met weekly, took holidays together, and walked with each other through the best and worst of times. All because—in a period of deep vulnerability—we asked for what we needed. 

Not every “ask” I’ve made in my life has worked out so nicely. There have been disappointing “no’s”, yawning silences, and awkward missteps along the way. And that’s okay, too. It’s not about getting what I need all the time, it’s about learning to be congruent and brave, naming and taking responsibility for my needs rather than waiting for someone to intuit them. 

What do YOU need?

This week, try a little experiment and ask openly and vulnerably for what you need:

* “Hey,  I could use a friend right now… do you have time to meet up for a cup of coffee or a walk?”

* “I’m struggling to figure out this issue at work, do you have half an hour to brainstorm solutions together?”

* “I feel claustrophobic being indoors with all this rain, would you mind coming over to mind the kids while I take a quick walk through our neighbourhood?”

* “I’m stretched to my limit, and my body’s letting me know it. Thank you so much for asking—can we postpone it until next week?”

What happened when you asked?

Whether the answer is yes or no, be proud you took the risk.

If you have time, come to our virtual Southpoint Central and share a time when someone came alongside you and met a need, or when you came alongside someone else and met their need. Let’s share the magic of what happens when we show up authentically for ourselves and for one another. 

Deep peace and blessings.


Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor of Church at Southpoint

Worship Calendar

Question for November:What Do You Need?

Sun. Nov 21, 10:00 am
Offering Clarity  
Speaker: Anne Smith  Matt. 7:33-37

Holy Disturbance: Where Does It Hurt?
On the first Sunday of Advent we’ll have a booklet for you, to accompany you through this season.

Sun. Nov 28, 10:00 am
All In: Speaking Up  Hope
Speaker: Anne Smith 1 Sam 1:1-8

Sun. Dec 5, 10:00 am
Reaching Out          Faith
Speaker: Anne Smith Mark 5: 21-43

Sun. Dec 12, 10:00 am
Pulling Apart             Joy
Speaker: Anne Smith Luke 5: 17-26

Sun. Dec 19, 10:00 am
Breaking Through    Peace
Speaker: Anne Smith Luke 2: 1-7

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *