You know the day isn't going well when at 9:15 am you call your husband asking if you can quit. It's as though God took me at my word when I mentioned that I wished I was better at recovering from the yucky parts of the day and being able to redeem them and move on instead of getting stuck in them. I've been getting a lot of practice. Today the proverbial straw was the little girl standing on the stairs announcing to me that she was peeing. This after dealing with a lot more bodily fluids than one likes to deal with before the second cup of coffee. (Poor D. has the stomach flu.) Bless B. who, without being asked, took over cleaning the little girl up while I was crying at my poor husband who could do nothing other than sympathize.
The day did start to look up after I finally managed to get dressed. We got some schoolwork done and I was able to get B. to his tech week rehearsal in time. Everyone is now more or less having quiet time and I spent a few minutes checking up on email and such, and eating my own lunch, etc.
I'm on an email list that is composed of other women who have large families and homeschool. I have been on this list for many years and feel as though I know many of these women well even though I have never met any of them. We share ideas, support one another, and pray for one another. We come from a wide variety of places and incomes and denominations and probably would never have had contact with one another except for this list.
And the diversity of this list is what brings me to mentioning it to you. Because even though this group of women are very different and all come from different churches, they have been sharing experiences that are very similar to one another's. That experience is how often, when their families needed help the most, their church family was absent. Nothing to me comes close to exposing the shallowness of current American Christianity. If we can't care for those we worship with, what good are we and what good is our worship? I have also found it to be a very convicting conversation and I know that at various times I have been guilty of not stopping to help another who may need it.
But it has also got me to thinking about it from a couple of different angles. The first is that in order to offer help, one has to know that help is needed. How well do we know the other members of our churches? If we only ever pause to say hello to people, but don't really get to know them, there is no way that one can know if that person even needs help. So step one is just to make the effort to really know those we go to church with.
Second, if we all believes in Jesus, then we need to just let go of the pride or whatever it is that stops us from being who we really are with each other. If life is really difficult at the moment, why don't we just say that? No one is perfect and to imply otherwise is a form of lying. Not with one's mouth, but a tacit form of lying where it's what you don't say that conveys the untruth. Let's just get over ourselves, people.
Now all this presupposes that even if we know that someone needs help, that we will actually do something about it. I propose that one of the worst effects of our society's addiction to busyness is that we no longer have time to help one another. Heck, we don't even have time to take care of the basics for our own families, much less someone else's. Without margin, without enough free time to be flexible, everyone suffers. The people who need help do not get it and feel unloved and forgotten; the people who are too busy feel guilty and miss out on the wonderful blessings that come with coming alongside and helping others; and our children do not have sacrificial living, where we go out of our way to love and serve other people modeled for them.
And just as the too-busy people can barely take care of their own families and don't have time for other believers, if believers cannot help one another how on earth can we hope to reach out and help the world? Because just as caring for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ should be an automatic response within the church, we should also be always looking for ways to love and serve our communities and the people in them.
Busyness serves no one well. Loving people and caring for them takes time. The best way we can show Jesus to the world is to radically change the way we live our lives. By refusing to fill our schedules to over-flowing, we will have time to spend with others. By placing relationships above activities we can reorder our lives to demonstrate what is really important. I believe that time is our society's most valuable commodity, and by choosing to spend our time one people, regardless of what those people can do for us in return, we can revitalize our churches and by extension our communities.
And what shows the evidence of sacrificing time for another human being than helping one of these children reach their full potential and allow them to experience the love of a family? Please pray that God will raise up five (FIVE... all it would take is just five families out of the entire United States) families to wrap their arms around these children and love them.
This is Kramer. I can't think of a time a child has touched my heart like this little boy has. (OK, maybe I can, it was H.'s picture.) He is 8 years old and has CP. Because of the CP, he has languished in a crib without appropriate food, love, or therapy. How can anyone look at this little boy and think he is worthless? Not worth the effort and love to allow him to flourish and reach his potential? He needs a family. He needs a mother and father who will love him. Please...