Thursday, November 20, 2014

the hands and feet

The next time I saw her she was wearing her jacket again, only this time she was inside her own home.

The weather was turning very chilly for a day in early November, and neither her house nor her body looked like it had insulation to spare.

Although her house looked dark and lonely, the TV was on and I heard her come my way as I rang her doorbell.

I hardly ever answer the door when I'm home alone and not expecting someone I know--or the UPS truck--to come by. I am just a weenie like that. But she came to the door immediately with a curious look on her face.

I introduced myself again in case she had forgotten, and she nodded as though she remembered me.

"I just came to check in and make sure you're doing ok," I said as Brody made his way up the stairs to us. He had finagled his way out of his seatbelt and the car door because he cannot resist a social situation. That is where he and I are very different.

Brody had also asked about her in the days that followed our first meeting. "What's Velma doing? Where's her family?" I was a little worried about the questions he might ask of her today.

"Do you need anything?" I asked. This is one of those situations where you hope you're not insulting someone by assuming they need help, but it was also pretty clear that she couldn't do things on her own.

"Yes, actually," she said. "Do you see that bush over there? It gets bogged down by snow every winter and pushes into the house. It's way too big but I can't do anything about it by myself."

I exhaled a silent prayer of thanks for God's hand in giving me an easy task first. "I see that bush. It does look like it could cause some problems. My husband is out of town but when he gets back I'll bring him over here and we will try to take care of it for you. Would that be ok?"

"Oh yes," she said. "I would appreciate that."

At this point, Brody began ambushing the conversation with questions and suggestions about how we might fix that bush. I smiled at him and looked back at her, hoping she could remember a time when she had a young child who asked too many questions.

"Ok, good. Do you need anything else?" Time to leave before Brody asked her all of the personal questions he loves to ask strangers.

"No, I think I'm doing ok. Thank you for your help. That's really kind of you."

So my family will be back at her house tomorrow--possibly with some strong and helpful young men--to take care of that pesky bush, and to bring her a blanket and bread, with hopes that we can do even more.

I don't share this experience to try to show you how great of a person I am or even how great of a Christian I am. I actually hesitated to share this whole experience because I often fear that people will think that I think I'm pretty awesome for caring--for obeying God.

I'm not awesome. My heart is quite cold, actually, and I've made a thousand mistakes that sometimes keep me up at night, a fact that I acknowledge as sinful in and of itself. (Because who do I think I am to try and bear burdens of mistakes that Christ has already carried and removed for me?)

However, God has been doing a work in me, breaking me for widows in addition to orphans. He has been showing me what I've been missing in my busy-ness, in my selfishness disguised as introversion, in my insecurity, and in this weight of adoption waiting.

So please be encouraged. I am a shy nobody, but because of God's great power in me there is now a widow who will hopefully see the Gospel in motion, in the hands and feet of His people.