Tuesday, August 14, 2007

An Unexpected Blessing

Our car broke down today.

It's the hottest day of the year, the busiest week of the year on the University campus where we work. We only have one vehicle and our budget is extremely tight. We live about 5 miles from campus - a long walk without sidewalks most of the way, difficult even in ideal weather. When I rode home in the wrecker at 5 p.m., we didn't know how we would get to work tomorrow.

I rounded up the usual suspects ... called a couple of friends who often have extra cars, talked to a co-worker. The Lord whispered to me (as He does) to call a neighbor, but I was unsure whose voice I was hearing. When my efforts dead-ended, the voice became more urgent and I thought of the Scripture: "Better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away." Apt words since none of our siblings live here!

About an hour after the first prompting I called my neighbor. I had hesitated to contact this sweet elderly couple, her nursing him through his stroke. They're the grandparent-ly type, the ones who have trouble saying no if they love you. I didn't want them to feel obliged. I guess I was waiting for God to miraculously have them call me or something. I don't know what I thought - I just know that I was hesitant.

But what an unexpected blessing I received. When she answered the phone and discovered it was me, she asked how things were. I told her it had been a rough week. She had seen the wrecker and so asked about that. "That's why I'm calling", I confessed reluctantly, hesitantly, almost sheepishly. I'm sure I sounded 3 years old. Her next words touched me to the core, bringing tears to my eyes:

"How can I help?"

It wasn't the words as much as the eagerness. There was no hesitation, no hint of compulsion. I expressed our transportation situation and she put the phone down to talk to her husband. She came back and told me his words:

"Do they want the car or the truck?"

The tears flowed again, more liberally this time. When I walked over to pick up the vehicle, I hugged her and thanked her profusely. She pulled back and genuinely said, "No, thank YOU for asking."

What an unexpected blessing on a trying day. To see these people, in trials of their own, being so eager to help, actually glad I asked ... I was convicted but so honored and blessed as well.

"You have not because you ask not", God tells us about prayer. Sometimes that's true of our brothers and sisters in Christ as well.

I thought of each of you, out there doing the thing, hating to let people know how hard it is. Please know that God has put love in different peoples' hearts for you, and those individuals long to know how they can help. So much of the time that is in prayer, but there are tangible needs as well. Don't hesitate to ask God on whose heart He has placed you. And don't hesitate to let them know your needs. They'll be glad you did - and you'll be blessed in the process.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed at how hesitant I am to
ask for help when I know how blessed I feel to help someone else. Must be a pride thing. Good
stuff as usual.