There was so much LIFE and celebrating. Celebrating the union of a couple. Celebrating the birth of a nephew. Celebrating the life of a great man.
These momentous occasions have so much background work that make things happen just so. The family member who can work the sound for the wedding. The pediatrician on call for the littlest ones. The loving members of a parish community who bring by cucumber sandwiches for funeral receptions. Everyone knows what to do.
Everyday, however, there are small slightly unexpected occasions that require quick and creative action. As a mother to littles, I can attest to this.
On such occasions, I may not always speak out my needs but I beg for the creative forces around me to come to my rescue.
Give us some examples Stephanie!
A few years ago I was traveling very pregnant with my son (when my third daughter was only a toddler) and I was making a trip to see my father after he had open heart surgery.....from Alaska. I FOR SURE have written about this somewhere before, but it is worth repeating.
I remember taking the early morning shuttle from the hotel to catch my flight out of Seattle and I just was up to my eyeballs in luggage and a car seat and stroller...and BELLY. There was a pilot and his wife, a flight attendant, on the same shuttle with me. As I was juggling toddler with belly and load out of the shuttle, they came over to me and said, "We are going to take these things to where you are checking in!"
They didn't ask if I needed help. I would probably would have felt GUILTY for needing it and would have smiled and said unconvincingly "oh I got this!"
I guess they just refused to be spectators and just knew the obvious way to help me. I remember that they did ask me how I thought I was going to manage it all and I remember smiling and saying, "I prayed God would send me people like you."
I LOVE doers. I love people who see a need and fill it. I love when those people serve that need with joy. I love when they keep that deed to themselves and don't need to shout from the roof top what they did. I love the humble servant and I want to BE ONE.
Going back to another plane ride (is there a pattern here?) I recall a young mommy with a very fussy baby and....being that it was most likely a very long cross country flight...she was doing everything in her power to calm the little babe. He had some lungs. Poor fella...we all feel that way inside we just control it a little better. So there was a middle aged Indian elderly woman sitting behind her who after a while simply tapped the young mom and said, "Could I try?"
The young mom was so desperate and so very trusting in that moment that the little one went to this woman who was able to hush the baby to sleep. I theorized if this particular woman was some sort of baby whisperer but I tend to lean toward the utter exhaustion that must have finally one in sending the babe to the land of Nod.
It is ok to read a book and watch you i-pad...it IS! However, I beg of you if you find yourself spectating and judging...SNAP OUT OF IT and see if you can be part of the solution! Come to find out the lady with the magic touch was also a grandmother to a brood of children. She had a skill and she knew where she could help!
See if you can help!
My girls know my favorite words in the world (besides "I love you") are "How can I help?"
My heart sings when they decide to say those things when they see me in the kitchen.
Yet....even better...someday I pray...will be the daughter who walks in the kitchen and already KNOWS HOW to help, without asking.
Janet brings the garbage can to the garage when it is empty at the end of the driveway, she just knows that is where it goes and she brings it up. You find out about this deed when your husband gets home and says, "Thanks hon for bringing the trash can up." You are perplexed...but then...you don't have spectators for friends, you have doers.
It takes energy. It takes creativity. It takes action.
This is more than random acts of kindness...this is more like, being aware of the needs of people around you, recognizing those needs and being part of the solution!
People feel so loved when we can anticipate their needs. Wine for a wedding? Loaves and fishes? It is so very like Our Lord to DO.
Please comment below. I would love to hear more examples of how someone has helped you recently and rose to the occassion!