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.