Monday, July 28, 2008

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

The title--do you know that expression? It's something that I've heard my entire life, but I am ignorant as to whether this is a regional colloquialism (the south has a LOT of those) or whether it is well-known. Regardless the translation: this phrase is used to indicate the time when practical application of an ideal is needed.

In other words, do you walk the walk?

Stop for a moment and think of someone you know who has a need. You've gotta' know at least one person. They are sick, they are caring for an ailing family member, they are dealing with a messy relationship with their spouse, they are fretting over decisions their children are making, they are in financial distress, they are a single mom or dad of a small child, they have just lost a job, they have just left home for the first time, they are expecting a child, they are mourning the loss of a loved one, they are dealing with a tough decision of any type, they are dealing with personal demons.

Now, what have you done for them?

Let me be blunt and tell you that I don't want to hear that you have offered your heart-felt sympathies and told them, "If you need anything, you call me." Seriously...people rarely call you. If you are extremely good friends, they might, but otherwise, they will only feel like they are burdening you and they will not call you. Period.

It is not up to them to look for help from you. It is up to you to give it to them. Not offer it, but give it. They may resist and that's okay, but they need to be resisting your honest efforts and not your offers.

Offer to watch the kids while they go out for some "me" (or "us") time. Leave a bag of groceries for them. Clean their house. Cook them dinner. Treat them to a movie night to forget their troubles for a while. Do their laundry. Take them to play a round of golf. Do their yard work. It doesn't even have to be anything that actually helps them find a resolution to their will just give them a ray of sunshine, an expression of love to cherish, one less thing to worry about.

A fellow blogger (so sorry...I don't remember who you are, as I do read a lot of blogs!) mentioned that when they returned home after being away dealing with the illness and death of a loved one, they found that their house had been cleaned and their fridge and pantry restocked. That's love.

When our house was getting hit with Hurricane Katrina and we were camped out in Arkansas (I was almost 9 months pregnant at the time), our neighbors saw all of the shingles blowing off our roof. Since they knew we were out of town, they went into our house and made sure we didn't have water pouring into our house anywhere. That defines neighbors to me--they literally braved 120-mph winds to make sure we weren't getting severe water damage. That rocks (thanks, Lamar and Betsy although you don't read this blog!)!

You see...when we are all truly taking care of each other like this, the world will notice, and they will want to be part of what we've got.

So stop offering help. Do something. Make it count where the rubber meets the road.

1 comment:

MyKidsMom said...

Amen sister!

It's my opinion that it's easy to act like a Christian at church,to look right, and talk right. Christianity in action in our daily life(atleast in the Biblical sense)is a whole different thing. It's what we do because we follow Christ, and not because our fellow Christians will see us and applaud us.