Just Help- "If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; If you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate;" Verse 7
Step 1: Wash Water Tanks
Step 2: Practice What You Preach
Step 3: I Am Not The Boss
There are many things I love about summer, things that may seem odd to many who read this. I knew it was almost here when the sweet smell of weeds, grass and wheat danced in the wind. The big blue sky would fill with white puffy clouds, and the sun would warm everything up. We stacked hay in pyramids that made for a pretty fun climb, and an even better slide down.
The farmers turned on the irrigation well that rested on our dirt road, and it would roar at all hours of the day and night. Crickets, locusts, and baby birds sang me to sleep, along with the purr of that well.
By late summer, the corn would rise taller than my dad, and sometimes it seemed to have a spirit of it's own.
I loved to ride my 4-wheeler, as fast as it would go, for as long as I could. I looked 3 shades darker after all of the dust settled on my skin and hair, but I didn't care. It didn't seem to matter that dirt etched into my eyes, molding with unauthorized tears, forming Cleopatra style shapes.
One day, I rode along, enjoying the sun. It hadn't rained in weeks, as often happens in the panhandle. For this reason, I was puzzled when the wheels of my 4-wheeler stuttered to a halt and sunk 6 inches deep. I was quickly reminded that the irrigation well wasn't there for my personal sleep hygiene. (Some people have recordings with waterfalls or rain, but I would love one of a well motor. :) )
I was about a mile from my house, sunk in a gigantic mud patch caused from farmers watering the corn. As I leaped from the 4-wheeler and into the mud, I stood there, panting, wondering how in the world I was going to get out of that mess. I raised my leg, which felt like 50 pounds, and the suction pulled my shoe back down, tearing away from my foot.
Standing with one shoe still on, rapidly sinking in the mud, I made a lunge for drier ground. Eventually I made it, covered in mud, with an increasingly redder sun burn by the minute. I walked the mile back to my house this way, leaving my clodded shoes behind with the sunken 4-wheeler.
There's something about this memory that brings the words: frustration, hopelessness, and defeat. But, there's something kind of beautiful in the ending. After walking a mile to my house, I convinced a brother to drive a 4-wheeler out there, with a chain, to rescue me. The 4-wheeler, and my shoes, recovered from the mud, and all that was left was a scarred piece of earth.
Sometimes "just helping" and "not being the boss" can be frustrating, hopeless and defeating. But, more often than not, it is also beautiful.
The thing about this month's goal is that someone else needs help. It's not about me, and more importantly, I can help save someone the feeling of frustration and defeat. I can help them feel relief-- even if it's by washing dishes, changing a diaper, opening a door. We can all do little things to pull each other out of the mud, to wipe away the dirt, and show Jesus.