Just Show Up

I knew I couldn’t do it that day. Maybe the next day, or possibly the following week. But that day it just couldn’t happen. I felt overwhelmed with solo parenting (and feeling like a failure while doing it), I was tired and exhausted, and a migraine had been building for two days. That day the lawn was just not going to be mowed. It desperately needed it due to the torrential downpours our land had been blessed with and my own personal laziness. But that day it just was not going to happen.

I knew there were plenty of people who would happily help me. There had been multiple offers from men and their teenage sons at church, our wonderful neighbors, and there was even a lawn maintenance business in the neighborhood! Options were plentiful, but I was too proud to ask. I could do it on my own and I would do it on my own. I was capable and I was pleased to be able to take care of my own home and grounds. But not that day. It was not going to happen on that day.

That evening, I was lying in bed with the blackout curtains drawn, a cool compress on my forehead, and I had requested the boys play quietly so my throbbing head could rest. There was a knock on the door and the boys rushed to tell me who was there. I sighed and got up to greet a deacon from our church. When I got to the door I was astonished. He had his riding lawn mower all ready to go and he asked if he could take care of our front and back lawns. I couldn’t refuse. I couldn’t make excuses. He could see the need and he was ready and willing to meet that need. He didn’t call to ask first. He didn’t wait for me to ask. He just showed up at my door and offered his help. 

I was amazed at the providence of God and the loving care of His people. I was relieved to have this task covered and so grateful for people who put action to their words. We all need help sometimes and not only is it a blessing to receive assistance, it is a blessing to provide assistance. There have been many times I have cheated myself out of being blessed by others and taken away the opportunity from others to bless me. 

When I had my first child, I turned away offered meals. I wanted to prove myself as a new mom. I wanted the world to know how capable I was and that motherhood fulfilled all my dreams. In doing so, I unnecessarily overworked myself and removed the opportunity for loved ones to be blessed in their service to my family. When we were moving, I felt guilty passing my children off on friends so I could pack up the house and finish the necessary cleaning. I fully trusted my friends and knew our children would play nicely together, but I didn’t want to possibly add any other burden to their already busy lives. I did not consider that this would be one of the last times our children would be able to play together and that mom friends truly do grow to love your children too. When I was burdened with worry and strain from personal situations, I hid them within and put on a plastic smile. When others asked how I was doing, I gave the courteous answer, “I’m fine.” Not only was this a lie, but it stole the blessing of praying for others and witnessing the Lord answer those prayers from my community. 

We were made for community. It is one of the greatest blessings God has provided His people. During creation week, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). Then to the early church, we are told, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25). The Church is the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12), both to support one another and to be a testimony of His goodness and grace to the watching world. We are not meant to live in solitude, we are made for community. We hold out a helping hand when we are able, and we humbly take the offered hands of others. Both in the serving and in the receiving, we are truly experiencing the tender love of the Lord and His blessings over our lives. 

So don’t wait to be asked. Don’t assume someone else is taking care of it. Be observant. Be available. Be willing. Be a blessing. Be blessed. 

Just show up.

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