When I ask almost anyone, “How are you?” most reply with some version of, “Good but busy.”
We are suffering from “hurry up” disease. For as long as I can remember, my “to do” list has been long, filled with errands, grocery lists, bills to pay, things to fix, and family. “Fun” is #25 on a “to do” list that seems never-ending.
In my twenties, life was even busier and overwhelming. As a newlywed, full-time college student and full-time employee my life was pretty hectic. I was up at 6:00am, work until 6:00pm, night classes at 7:00pm, and eating fast food for dinner in between. And the next day, same rigmarole.
My sister Valerie noticed. As a wife, mother, and part-time childcare worker, life was a little hectic for her too, but she didn’t let “hectic” get in her. She walks into a classroom full of crying children longing for their mommies and calmly gives loving care. With the Lord’s peace, she helped everyone within her reach.
One day while rushing from work desk to school desk and hunting for the nearest fast-food drive-through, Valerie said, “Gwen, don’t eat that. I will fix you a sandwich. Just come by,” she said.
Although it was a little out of the way, Valerie convinced me to make a slight detour for a healthier, more appetizing meal. Breaking the speed limit all the way to her house, I was greeted by my smiling sister who was standing at the door with a corned beef on rye, with lettuce, cheese, onion, tomato and mustard, prepared and placed on a beautiful paper plate in one hand and a cola in the other. I smiled like a child getting an ice cream cone for the first time.
Running to her door I grabbed these gifts gratefully, said, “thank you,” Val said, “you’re welcomed,” and then, She went right back to serving a meal for her family and I got in my car and dashed away, wheel in one hand sandwich in the other. Boy was it good! Made my night class a little more bearable.
Some years have past since then – some things have changed – even ended school and my first marriage…and my beloved Val went home to be with the Lord.
But the lesson learned from my sister is everlasting – help someone else.
Because someone near you right now needs help and is crying silently, “help!” – because life seems hectic, hurried, or out of control.
Or whispering, “help” because of a broken heart. Or screaming help because the “to do” list of life is filled with desires yet to be fulfilled, and the “been there done that” list is filled with failures and forgotten dreams. Your small gesture may bring comfort and joy for someone who needs help.
You can whisper a prayer for the mother in the store with the crying child, or hold the hand of a sick loved one, or smile at a complete stranger.
Or you can go down the hallway of your own home and embrace the weary student, worker, mother or father. You can just say, “I love you,” or even “thank you.” Do just one small gesture to help someone because sometimes we just need help.
You may be saying, “but that’s me, I need help right now.” Well, you are in good company. The Psalmist said the same thing while looking around at his present circumstances he wondered where his help would come from. But then, he looked up toward the majesty of the hills and with a trust and assurance, he accepted by faith this truth, “My help comes from the Lord.”
We can all call on the Ultimate Helper, The Comforter in chaos, Rest for the restless, Burden-bearer for the busy, and the One who provides divine order for the overwhelmed. Our help comes from the Lord.