This has been a complicated week in our house. On top of the regular busy of our family, we've added another layer of busy in the health and wellness department. My husband has been laid out with excruciating back pain, resulting from some disc herniation. Suffice it to say, our home life has looked really different for the last week after a few months of building up to an acute climax.
I shared our struggles at our church music team practice on Saturday night. I told them the ins and outs of what was going on in our home. And they prayed for our family. For health, strength, patience, endurance; for the ability to hear the Lord speaking through this time of trial. It was very helpful. Very moving.
That same night, the members of the team gave some good advice from their experience with similar health concerns. They offered to help however they could. I assumed that would be the end of it.
I was wrong.
Sunday morning, I was commiserating with the wife of one of the team members about needing to go home and make lunch. I wish I had a magic fairy to wave a wand and make it for me, I said. We laughed. Then I went to Remark to find a fantastic loaf of bread to stretch my salad that I was making. I comtemplated buying a rotisserie chicken there too, but didn't. Tempting; also expensive, long line up, kids waiting in the car. *sigh* maybe I can figure out the bbq when I get home and cook the kabobs in the freezer.
As I am approaching my house, I notice I am being followed by a familiar van. She pulls right into my drive way behind me. It is the lady I was speaking to about lunch. "We knew how difficult things must be in your house when there is a parent down and , and we both really wanted to do something to help out in a small way, so would you let us serve you today by giving you this." And she hands me a steaming hot bag from Swiss Chalet. Buns, baked potatoes, french fries, 6 pieces of chicken, and of course, my favourite, the dipping sauce. "It might not be enough to feed your whole crew but add it to your bread and see if the Lord will multiply your loaves and chicken", she smiles.
Unable to even a little bit compose myself, we hug and I squeeze a thank you out between tears. She smiles and says your welcome.
As we are eating this feast, there is a knock on the door. A man from our team and his wife have come with another surprise: "When I was having back problems I used this inversion table to relieve some of the pressure. I thought I'd bring it by and if your husband can use it great. If not, give me a call and I'll pick it up again."
Really? Very kind. I'm having a hard time letting this all soak in.
At the end of the day, I check my email. Another team member volunteering to mow our lawn. He comes, on his day off, on a holiday, and mows the lawn, and uses the trimmer to do the edging and whack all those weeds. "Chris should not be doing this for several weeks, so I'll come back in two weeks or so and do it again. Okay?"
And the tears again.
Sheer gratitude for the love of Christ being displayed in the people we do church life with. Maybe to them these were small sacrifices. Maybe it "was nothing". To us, it was a world of help and a picture of how the Body of Christ can function.
It is also a lesson to me in how I am notoriously bad for admitting I need help and being willing to take it without guilt.
It is a further lesson on my inadequate service to others. How often do I go above and beyond to help someone in need? Do I watch for places I can serve? Am I willing to inconvenience myself for others?
And so I challenge myself, and you, if you've read this far, to be the servant this week. Be the hands that do and the feet that go to show the compassion of Jesus to someone this week. Who will it be? Who could you help this week? Who can you serve and bless with a meal, an errand, a note of encouragement, a gift, a task? Will it be your co-worker? Your neighbour? Your spouse? A stranger on the street? Your child?
Lord, open my eyes to the needs of those around me, and show me how I can serve them. And thank you for this church family who have loved us so well this week. Bless them for their generousity.