Helping a friend is helping yourself

Last night my friend and I had arranged to do some vegan gluten-free baking and after a busy day I relaxed my body into the sofa and closed my eyes in satisfaction with the small tasks I had accomplished. As I scrolled down my Facebook newsfeed I came across a friend I had met only a couple of times, post a call for help. She was moving and her father had broken her foot so she needed help loading a van. I immediately contacted her and cancelled the evening of baking feeling the need of assisting this woman who was unable to complete her moving alone. I walked to her house as darkness was falling. She said that her male friends who she’d known for years had refused help because they feared damaging her furniture and I was grateful that I could be there to help, honoured even to be helping such a courageous, independent, beautiful woman. Her neighbour appeared a little later as we gradually cleared her hallway of vintage furniture, old books, and classic designer clothes.

Her home reminded me of a self that I once was, years ago, before I travelled . I felt as though I had forgotten this part of myself that loved checkered pencil skirts, the smell of old books, and spending an evening painting. My belongings had been scattered again and I had not been surrounded by own style and my own preferences. I had been lost in the work of The Lord, consumed by the desire to learn the scriptures and to progress in the Kingdom of God so much because that was all I had to hold on to. While everything around me seemed challenging and regressive I held tightly to God’s words hoping and praying that I would achieve the things I needed to continue moving forward and to continue creating a life that I wanted to live rather than being engulfed in a world I had begun to detest.

And from this act of service I was offered a vintage rocking chair and luxurious hot chocolate infused with orange teabags that the three of us sat and drank. These two women spoke about their health, one had recently passed kidney stones and had revelation about taking care of her health. The other woman had an eating issue and was underweight. As we talked, we listened, we advised, we cared and we understood. Each of us had been in situations where we knew no way out, we had felt alone and had no-one to turn to. But now, I turn to God. I turn to Jesus Christ. And I know that they are there, listening to my every word, eagerly awaiting for me to ask for the things that will get me out. When the time has been right I have been lifted up, lifted out of a dark place and knowing that God wants to help me; that gives me hope. It gives me hope that whatever happens there will be an end and a new beginning. That whatever situation I am in, I am never alone. And that through the turmoil and distress, some day there will be peace and joy. The peace and joy is possibly the greatest gift we can receive and every ounce of suffering and every minute of crying is worth it to come out on the other side being wiser, bolder, and brighter.

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