|Image courtesy of CNN|
So many of our good deeds are so small.
They seem paltry.
we hand over a slightly over-cooked casserole.
Instead of funding an extreme makeover for that person's home,
we show up on Saturday morning to help apply a new coat of paint.
Instead of giving them a check to pay off their mortgage,
we give them a few hours of our time to listen and counsel.
Instead of funding a wonderful vacation,
we take their children for a couple of hours so they can escape for a date.
It is hardly the stuff dreams are made of. . . "
Their great sacrifices were seen by no other eyes but ours.
There was no big stage, no grand audience, not even any applause.
And it was far from glamorous.
All I could offer was a genuine thank you from the bottom of the heart of a desperate girl with an ash grey countenance whose body tied her to the couch.
Because alas, last Sunday morning, my system once again went into hyper drive, I was physically fading, and needing to ask friends to come at the drop of a hat because my husband was out of town. My husband flew across the country on Monday to get home as soon as he could, and pushed me in a wheelchair into my doctor's office on Tuesday.
We'd been watching the winter Olympics since it began. Our son's been really geared up for it, so we've DVRed every broadcast and watched it over dinner. We don't usually do a lot of TV in our house, but these are the Olympics.
Athletes demonstrating tremendous virtues worth aspiring to -- hard work, dedication, sacrifice, winning, losing.
After being bed ridden for six days now, I was finally able to manage going to the couch to watch the Olympics together as a family again for a bit. Our son has been wide eyed through this whole thing. And for good cause. Extraordinary athlete after extraordinary athlete performing feats of skill far beyond what our eyes are used to seeing. Like Simen Hegstad Krueger from Norway. What a story.
I find it quite fitting that I am down for the count right in the middle of the Olympics. Because the other night, our son was starting to go down the path of figuring out how to get from point A in the present to point B, the Olympics.
And I shared with him that we have been watching sisters in Christ get gold medals right before our eyes all week.
Like Thori, who came at the drop of a hat to help me when I was fading. And came again late that night after work to spend the night at our house, getting a crummy 5 hours of sleep -- interrupted at that.
And like Buffy, who also came at the drop of a hat to make herself at home in our kitchen and do things I couldn't do. And then take me to my doctor's for an IV the following day, coordinating rides for me, her kids, and my kid in the process.
And April -- the woman just had a baby three weeks ago! Yet she came to my aid with basically no notice, let me hand her a recipe, and went to town in my kitchen. And then stayed with me late into the night until the next shift came.And him, too! I wouldn't be able to count the amount of laps my son walked around our house on Sunday, in particular. My needs were constant, and so was his love and compassion.
All four of them literally waited on me hand and foot those 48 hours (and then some since!) until my husband returned back to the east coast -- walking me to the restroom, getting me my food and water, doing all those seemingly ordinary things we all take for granted every day.
But they weren't ordinary to me.
This is the stuff gold medals are made of, folks. This is precisely what Challies' article is saying and I can't amen loudly enough. "The ministry of burden-bearing," he calls it, "will earn you very few accolades. It will gain you very few awards. . . But every bit of it will matter . . . and bring glory to God.
So look for those who are burdened. Develop the habit and the skill of spotting those burdens, and determine that you will meet them, one casserole or one hug or one visit or one prayer at a time."
Challies says that "the majority of what you do will be unnoticed by other and forgotten even by those who benefit most." And I agree with him on the first part, but I gotta tell ya --
seven and a half years later, there is a long, LONG list of faces and names and the sacrificial gifts of time and service they gave our family that I still remember clear as day.
And I know that's not what matters most. But I share that to tell you just how deeply those simple acts of service land in the hearts of a family experiencing suffering.
So to all those who helped our family seven and a half years ago, and to my faithful few who have lent a gigantic hand and then some this time around (which you better believe includes my amazing husband and son!),
thank you for your gold medal giving.
For demonstrating those tremendous virtues worth aspiring to -- right here in our humble home.
May the blessing return to you and your families a hundred fold.