Monday, December 10, 2012

Do


Thursday night, four days home from Ethiopia, sitting in yoga pants and no makeup in Christi's beautifully decorated house with eight Christmas trees, the bible study plans tossed, listening to me process, for the first time, some of the things I saw and felt and heard and didn't hear in Ethiopia. I hadn't had a chance to talk to anyone about it yet. They said "it's okay!" when I apologized for crying. They said, "Of course you are" when I confessed how scared I am to bring my daughter home. They listened. They counseled. They loved.

And then when I mentioned that my entire November had been occupied with AFRICA FRENZY and now it was December and there was no tree up and no lights up and no presents bought and no cards sent out and she said, "What can we DO?" and of course I said "nothing, nothing, I just need to get busy" but then she said "We can put your lights up! Want us to come put your lights up? Monday morning, does that work? Would that help?" and taken aback I said, "Yes! That would help!"

So this morning two women from my bible study and another I've never even met before showed up with Starbucks and hammers and ladders and scissors and tonight, my lights are up. And my wreaths are up. And thanks to Laura who went home and got her blower, my leaves are also in piles.



And I walked back inside after they left and cried, because I've belonged to only three churches in my entire adult life, all of them for years. And, aside from post-hospital casseroles, not one of them has ever served me. Just served me.  Not because I was dying or sick, but just because life sometimes is overwhelming and sometimes you just need someone to show up and hang some dang Christmas lights so that your kids won't be disappointed and you will have one thing, just one thing, checked off the condemning list that hovers over your soul.

They changed my world today.

The best part?
I'm not special.
They do this stuff all the time.

Because love doesn't just talk.

Love does. 


36 comments:

  1. Exactly! That's exactly what I love about my church! I'm so glad you have found that in your church:)

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  2. Oh this is good stuff. I love that.

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  3. Awesome business, this lifting the burden from someone...

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  4. I think that's awesome... I feel similarly...
    I have a wonderful church... that I have only been to a few times in the last 2 years due to being mostly bedridden... and the fact that nobody stays home from church when they are sick (for the love of God (really), people, God will not zap you with lightning if you miss a day of church because you are sick--PLEASE stay home for those of us who have weak immune systems. We need encouragement and community, too). And aside from a few close friends, nobody has noticed. Nobody has called. Nobody has stopped by. Nobody has offered to DO anything... and this is while I am dealing with multiple (10+) chronic health conditions and am stuck in bed. I am sure that if I was healthy, it would be even less likely to happen. It saddens me because I know how much I could use some help... and I know I am not alone. There are so many who cannot even leave their houses or their beds... and who is caring for them?

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    1. I went through the same as a teenager, Sarah Mae. Even my two closest friends, who lived 200 yards away, stopped coming by because I had not got much energy so I wasn't 'fun' any more. I'm on the other side of the world to you, but I will pray x

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    2. @Sarah Mae. I am so sorry for what you have been going through. That sounds just terrible. You don't have to be bedridden to feel that people aren't fulfilling expectations. I have experienced the hurt of it and I have had more than one friend leave the church I will brag about below because of it. I just want to encourage you with some thing because the pain you feel is probably very deep and you likely feel very lonely because of it. From the perspective of being the hurt one as well as the perspective of seeing the hurting ones, I think the common theme is that the first people mentioned in your reply, 'a few close friends' are looked over. I have looked over my few close friends to see a slew of people within my church not helping me, not befriending me, not reaching out to me.. My friends who left the church overlooked their few close friends to see the same thing. But the Lord showed me that the church is a body, the eye doing its job, the hand it's job, and the foot it's job according to the direction of The Lord. When you poke your eye, only your hand rushes up to help it, not the foot, or the mouth, but you don't feel as though the foot or mouth has failed for this reason, we recognize it is fulfilling an equally important function that likely has nothing to do with the poked eye. I want to encourage you to see those whom The Lord has chosen to be with you. If you have need, please let them know- let them be your hand, and have much grace and mercy along the way because they will likely not fulfill expectations at some points. Regarding this response, I want you to know I am not writing this to defend or blame anyone at all, but so that maybe your hurt might be alleviated, knowing that The Lord's hands and feet have not left you and forgotten about you as you feel they might have. Because that kind of pain REALLY hurts, a lot, and I hate that you are experiencing that on top of your physical pain. @multicolouredsmartypants.com, I'm sorry you went through it as well, even without your closest friends. I pray now that if ever you must go through it again, that The Lord will give you someone to be with you through that time.

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  5. A servant's heart. Now, there is a novel idea. It is rare today. People are too busy, too self absorbed, to wrapped up in their own lives. How blessed you are to have found such a wonderful group of friends. Cherish them.

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  6. So glad to read this. God bless you all - I hope you can enjoy a beautiful (without too many pressures and expectations) family Christmas :-)

    Sandy

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  7. Love this. There's nothing like being Blessed...just because. I'm so thankful you've found a lovely church with lovely and giving people.

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  8. YES. This is what church is/should be. Have been looking for it for years myself and now I think I've found it...so glad you finally did too :)

    Love you bunches,
    Beth

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  9. There is something so authentic about showing up in work clothes and getting it done. It probably didn't make a whole lot of sense last summer, the timing of your move--away from family and familiar. But He knew exactly what you would need, when you would need it. Beautiful.

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  10. I think Jesus smiles down at us when His children start actually acting like him-a servant.

    So, glad you were blessed and a conviction to me to step up my game in this area.

    Enjoy your lights!

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  11. love this! so sad about church in general...but so true. glad that you saw the hands and feet so real this week!

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  12. love this! so sad about church in general...but so true. glad that you saw the hands and feet so real this week!

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  13. THAT is what church is supposed to look like. So glad you were loved this week. The body of Christ is so beautiful!

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  14. I have to admit that this story really makes me want to pay ATTENTION to others to see where their needs are so I am able to help them. Often I get boggled down with my children and plans in unnecessary ways. I will look for areas where I can serve, I will be bold and just ask, I will not be consumed with my own busyness! Bible study tonight, my first opportunity to not blow it.

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  15. That right there is the Holy Spirit. *That's* what church is. I'm glad you've found it.

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  16. now that is Jesus with sandals on... love it!

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  17. I have had similar experiences and I loved reading this! I'm new to your blog (found it from my older sister!)and I just love reading all about your life. I cry to when people serve me. It's amazing how much little things like this can just make you smile like there is no tomorrow! You know, I think we see Jesus the most when we serve others, but I'm starting to think we see him just as much when we allow others to serve us. :)

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  18. I want to share about my friends within our church that do similar things so often. I am 33 weeks pregnant with my second child and am the definition of unorganized, which is relevant because we live in a 728 square foot house and we will soon have two children. I sent out an email to a few of the stay at homers in our church that if read aloud would have probably sounded like a dying dog. Something about my house is like a muddy hill and if anything shakes it all comes down- in dying dog voice. So a couple of the women, one in particular that I wrote have come to the rescue. The Lord has blessed me and used them to completely reorganize my house. After 2 days of hard work we only have the kitchen left to do and they have promised to return after Christmas. I am so thankful for how The Lord meets our needs, and so thankful when he gives us the opportunity to do the same. I am glad your friends were there for you.

    Ps I have read your blog for a long time. I love it, and am so glad for your family and the way The Lord is moving within it.

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    1. Touched by your mention of me in your comment above - we too live in a little house, with three children. I have struggled too, because mess looks so much worse in a small space, but FYI FlyLady has been very, very helpful http://flylady.net/ God bless
      Sandy x

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  19. I'm so sorry that the people of the church haven't served you well ... it is this, in the daily grind where we most need each other!

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  20. I love it! It is so wonderful to be KNOWN and LOVED by the body of Christ.

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  21. this confirms what I've been thinking for years....You can do anything with Starbucks, a hammer and love.

    MerryMerry!

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  22. It IS a great feeling to be loved and served. Thats what the Body does for each other! ;)

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  23. My church does that all the time!! I never, ever want to leave it.

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  24. Oh, that's wonderful- fellowship is a beautiful thing. Our church is so very big it seems a little hard to find, but it can also be hard to put yourself out there to step into it as well (for me it has been)- does that make sense?! I'm so glad you have those ladies being the hands and feet with things that just simply bless you.

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  25. I love reading good news concerning the church! I hope you see more and more and more of this with your new friends.

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  26. i love this so much. once i had a very dear friend who was only an aquaintance at the time bring me dinner just because i was having a rough day/week/month. aside from having babies, that's never happened. i was so so blessed by this. and we're very dear friends now :)

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  27. I have this now....but haven't most of my life! PRAISE GOD for women who love and serve- just because we are the Body of Christ and we should look a lot more like Christ! :)

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