Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gentle Nudgings & Lessons Learned

My mom called last night to tell me about a friend who had entered heaven, and about a lesson she'd learned...

Have you ever had a friend in need?  I'll bet you have.  Did you ever ache to help in some way, but were at a loss as to how to go about it?  Did you ever feel that others (with specific gifts) were filling your friend's needs, and so you stepped away (or never even stepped near) so that you wouldn't be in the way?

I think if we're honest about it, we'd all admit that this has happened to us at least once before.

Recently, my parents decided that they needed to be available to a family in need.  They had a plan to go to the hospital, not knowing if they would be permitted to visit, or what other family members might be present to visit with.  They felt very strongly about helping out in some way -- and so they went, and sat at the hospital -- even when they saw signs that said "immediately family only" and saw nobody that they knew for a long period of time. When they were almost ready to leave, they saw a familiar face.  Someone that asked them to make a phone call.  And then, another familiar face that asked them to sit with a child -- and all of a sudden, they were needed.  They made themselves available, and God used them.

How often does God call us that we do not respond?  I guess you can ask that question on many levels.  Right now, I'm just thinking about the day to day kind of stuff that we can let slip by us so easily.  My parents would be the first to tell you that they didn't do anything difficult.  Basically, they sat and waited.  They made a phone call.  They sat with a child. The point is - they were available to do those things.  If they had not been there, those same things may still have gotten done - though, perhaps with more difficulty by a grieving family.

It made me remember...

Several years ago, my sweet hubby was in the hospital for an extended period of time. Family and friends rallied around us, and supported us in every way possible.  It was during October and November, and while we lived at the hospital and at my parents' home, all of the trees in our yard shed their leaves.  Now truly, hear me say that our yard full of leaves was THE LAST thing on my mind.  As in NEVER gave it a thought.  But one day, a friend called and said this, "Is there anything else we can do?"  When I was at a loss, he continued: "We would like to have a Sunday School picnic in your yard.  All of our class members will come with their families, with everything we need for lunch, and with yard tools.  We'd like to rake up all of your leaves, and do any other work that needs to be done in the yard. Please let us do this.  You don't even have to be home.  If you need to be at the hospital, we understand."

Well, we did spend part of the day at the hospital.  When we arrived home, our driveway and street were filled with cars.  Our swing-set was filled with children.  Our yard was filled with friends, and a grill (that somebody brought in their pick-up truck) was cranking out burgers and hotdogs  for all of the volunteers. Not only did they remove the leaves from our yard, they helped our neighbor finish cleaning up his yard as well.  They never set foot in the house (except for a few pit stops), and they cleaned up everything when they left.

Needless to say, that was the end of the yardwork for our yard that season.  I was so thankful that something that hadn't even been on my radar was now crossed off our to-do list!  Interesting that it was something that I wouldn't have thought of - but it probably would've been at the top of my hubby's list!  Now it was one less thing for him to have on his mind as he recovered.

All because somebody was not hesitant to be available for us.  Somebody listened when God called.  Someone was even ready with a list of things he/they could do, in case this numb and scatter-brained wife couldn't come up with one request.

I want to be like that!  Next time, perhaps I won't hesitate when I feel a nudging from God.

Thanks Mom, for sharing a lesson learned!


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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one, and truly enjoy "conversations" with you! ~Sally

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