The "Rescue Mindset"

Earlier this week, Kaley wrote a blog about the most recent shark attack rescue story that was blasted throughout the media. Today I want to further unpack what it means to be a rescuer. Let's start by considering this. Did you know that when a bone breaks, it actually heals stronger than it was before it broken? Muscles are like that too. They don't get bigger without first tearing and healing. I think our hearts follow the same pattern. We are strongest where we are most broken, torn and healed.

Chuck Palahniuk once said, “Yes, terrible things happen, but sometimes those terrible things – they save you.”   Soul shattering things actually make us powerful. And it’s often in that area that we can help people the most.

So how do we move forward and start using our unfair advantage? It begins with adopting what I call the “Rescue Mindset.” This is your guidebook for helping people. Here is a brief summary of the three most important sections:

1. Wag You Tail not Your Finger

So I have this guy who lives with me. He’s not related to me in any way, I have to buy expensive food that only he eats, and he wakes me up at night for no reason. He sleeps in my bed, poops on my lawn and has never once thanked me for cleaning up any of it. Of course, I'm talking about my dog. Why do we let these messy, disruptive, destructive creatures in our lives? Because they love us no matter what. They are always happy to see us.  I walk through the door after work and Napoleon is OMG-I'm-about-to-lose-my-freaking-mind-that-you-are-home-kinda-happy every, single time.

This is the “Rescue Mindset." It's being a person who wags their tail, not their finger. It’s not about saying all the right things but radical acceptance.  Love, not criticism, is the framework for transformational change.

2. No Red Capes

Do you remember the movie The Incredibles? It's a Pixar film about a family of superheroes. In one scene Bob, the dad, meets up with Edna Mode, the fashion designer known for making hero costumes. Bob asks for a cape and Edna says, “No capes!" Bob starts to argue with her and she snaps. "Do you remember Thunderhead? Tall, storm powers? Nice man, good with kids. November 15th of '58! All was well, another day saved, when... his cape snagged on a missile fin!" Bob protests. "Stratogale! April 23rd, '57! Cape caught in a jet turbine! Metaman, express elevator! Dynaguy, snagged on takeoff! Splashdown, sucked into a vortex! No capes!"

That's the rescue mindset. People don't need you be a hero, they need you be an equal. That means you don't lead with you strength, but brokenness. Trade your cape in for a shirt that says the two most powerful, heroic words I know: Me too.

3. God is good

A rescuer does not slap Band-Aids on bullet holes. Thank you T-Swift. There’s great story in Jeremiah 8:11 when God rips the priests a new one for saying, "Peace, peace when there was no peace." God accused them of 'healing the wound lightly.' We make this mistake too sometimes. Rescuers aren’t afraid to acknowledge a sucky situation and the full wounded-ness of others, without losing sight God's goodness. A rescuer let’s God define the pain rather than let the pain define God.

Love, equality and goodness. The three ideas make up the "Rescue Mindset"—so scary simple, that anyone can do it. In fact, I believe God today is calling you to do just this- to become the person He uses to rescue others.

To learn more about being a Rescuer, join us for Rescue Lab or download our 40 Day Freeway Devotional.

Mike Foster