Lent 2023, Day 32: “How can I help?”

Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin [Francisco Roman/ NBC]

Last week, I finished watching (through streaming) the recently cancelled NBC show, New Amsterdam, about a doctor, Max Goodwin, who oversees the fictional eponymous hospital based on the book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer. Dr. Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) is known for always asking (I mean like, in every episode, lol), “How can I help”:

The show, as evidenced from the clip above, knows it’s hokey, and has fun teasing the character and itself for frequently asking it. But the thing is…

I kind of love it.

K came home last week with the heartbreaking news that one of his friends, just north of 40, has been diagnosed with cancer (incidentally, Dr. Goodwin also battles cancer). K, after sharing the heavy details, looked at me sullenly and asked “What am I supposed to do?”

The first thing that popped into my head? Seriously? “Ask him, ‘How can I help?'” K responded immediately that his friend is so overwhelmed that he doesn’t know what/where/how. Totally understandable. “You know, he might not be ready right now for your help. But having experienced as many deaths and hospital stays as I have, trust me, give him some time- weeks, months, even next year- and he will probably need some help.”

A ride, some groceries, a call, a hand- everyone will at least once will be glad to be asked, “How can I help?” in this life.

  • When’s the last time you offered help to someone in need?
  • If you were recently helped, take some time to call or write that person to express gratitude.

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