You Never Know
You never know what is going on inside the walls and hearts of those around us. Often it is extreme joy and excitement, but sometimes, more often than we would like to imagine, it can be deep pain or sorrow.
My home is usually a happy place, and I can usually keep things relatively under control. But one night this was not the case. On this particular night, with two small children and a husband out of town, my home was a place of chaos, frustration, and embers of anger. It started slowly at first, but my emotions, like those of my children were in a rapidly moving downward spiral. Before I knew it, I was in a dark place. I was so frustrated at my current situation that I was worried that something scary might happen.
It became a blur. Before I knew it, I felt a very distinct voice in my head telling me “You need to call someone. You need to call someone now.” Now, I am not someone to ask for help, but I was smart enough to know that I needed it this time. Before I knew it, I was picking up the phone to call my friend Becky.
The phone rang a couple of times, and Becky answered. Her voice on the other end of the line was happy and calm, a stark contrast to what was happening on my end. I asked her if she could come help me get the kids to bed. She said yes, and in less than 5 minutes, she was knocking at my door. She came in, worked her magic, calmed us all down, got the kids to bed, and then admitted that she had to run, because her parents were waiting for her to pick them up at the airport.
In that moment, I was not only overwhelmed with gratitude that she was able to calm the storm in my home and in my heart that night, but that she did it at a sacrifice to her and her family. She literally dropped everything that she was doing to come and serve someone else.
As I reflect on this experience, I realize that there is a lot that we don’t know when it comes to service:
1. Others will never know that you need help if you do not tell them. Becky had a lot going on that day. She was probably already in the car on the way to the airport. She would have picked up her parents, and had a wonderful visit. If I had not made that phone call, Becky would never have known how badly I needed her.
2. You never know when someone is in a position where they truly cannot help. If you build up the courage to ask someone and you are rejected, please understand that it is most likely not personal. This person may also be going through something difficult and may be in need of assistance as well. Or they may have other limitations that do now allow them to help you at that given time. Don’t give up just yet. Reach out to someone else, because you never know who needs to help you today.
3. You never know who desperately needs your help, but does not have the strength to ask for it. It is best not to assume that everyone is doing OK, because they probably aren’t. Every once in a while it might be the right thing to do to just slow down a little, look at those around us, turn your car around, say a loving word, pick up some flowers, or do a small (or large) act of service, because you never know how badly someone might be hurting.