These days, (now weeks) that I am recouping from a concussion…oh how they are humbling me, bringing me to what is most important, softening me, and bringing me back into the lap of God…to rest, renew, and heal. Over the last three weeks, with the dizziness and nausea, the excruciating headaches and being off balance (literally), I have been in awe of the kindness others have shown us:
~ Neighbors and friends near and far bringing us dinner.
~ A friend making luscious salt and sugar scrubs and massaging my legs and feet and head…for an hour and a half.
~ A friend writing to say that she is running for me today.
~ A neighbor saying even people in her prayer group have asked about me.
~ A grocery bag full of good things.
~ “Check-ins” ….”Lisa, let us care for you.”
~ Offerings of running to the grocery store for us.
~ The gentle presence of dear ones in our lives…just here.
~ Even friends of friends who have had concussions calling and giving their advice!
It was all so much for my heart that the other day, when a neighbor brought over dog food for us (we were watching my parents’ dog..it’s healing to have Blondie here…think “little white and golden cockier spaniel”), I started to tear up.
“I’m so humbled by such kindness,” I said.
Neighbor: “This is testament to how you all care so much for others. It’s your time to receive.”
It stopped me in my tracks. My heart was overwhelmed, humbled, full. Brian and I have oriented our lives around “service” and “community.” We care for others. We jump in when someone needs something, we are about sharing our resources, and we offer our home and hands when our presence might lighten someone’s suffering. It’s weaved into who we are and who we are as a family. It has been conscious and intentional. But it’s just a way of life.
We do it because this is how the Divine moves through us. We do it because we intentionally live with our hearts and eyes open. Not always. Not in every moment. But surely as a “posture” in life.
But when my neighbor said this, I reflected for a moment…
It’s not for thanks or accolades. That kind of “service” is surface deep — it trails off easily, it’s short term, it’s “when it’s convenient”, it’s when it’s EASY, it points back to the “giver” rather than the one who is suffering. No, Brian and I are in to tending to others for the long haul…and in simple, everyday ways, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s noticed or not.
But when our neighbor stood there tearing up with me and reflecting our goodness, I saw before me the life we have created, the life we are living, and the life we are creating.
And I smiled. Deep from within my heart.
And, I praised the divine.
I bowed in gratitude to the divine — in service and humility.
And all that I could say in my heart was, “thank you.”
I thought about her words: “It’s your time to receive.” And another friend’s word: “Lisa, when you allow others to care for you, you give them the opportunity to do something for you…and that is a gift. They want to do something.”
How many times have I — have any of us — “not received”…because of pride, the need to “have it all together? Or because it was all too tender and we didn’t have the words and it felt too private to let someone in and be in that tender, vulnerable place???
Yet, this is how we love each other. We give. We receive. It ebbs and flows. There’s a season for both.
And here I am, totally humbled by the kindness of others. Allowing others in. Being vulnerable. Being “not all together”. Being broken and admitting that to another. This is hhhhhhhhhard. And yet…this is how we love and learn to be loved.
I’m learning. I’m learning. Imperfectly and without words at times. But I’m learning.
~ What season are you in right now? To receive or to offer?