I’m not a very good leaner. I prefer to be the lean-ee, the person that others lean on in times of crisis. I like to be the one who prays for others, brings meals to others, runs errands for others, sends cards to others.
I suspect that pride is at the root of my hesitancy to ask others for help. I don’t want to feel like I’m a burden to anyone. And yet there is no sin in being a burden–in fact, we are instructed to bear one another’s burdens, and that means that there are times when we have to be the one revealing our own burdens in order for others to help us bear them.
A couple of weeks ago, when I found out that my mom was being taken to UAB with bleeding in her brain, I sent a hastily-crafted email to several friends asking for prayers and then headed home to pack up and get ready to head to Birmingham. On the way, friends of mine called and told me that they were coming over to drive with me to UAB. I didn’t have to ask. It wasn’t expected of them. They just decided on their own that I needed them–and boy, were they right.
Over the next few days, as my mom went through brain surgery and recovery in the ICU, we had friends show up at the hospital, call, and send emails and cards of encouragement. Throughout the past couple of weeks, we’ve had friends offer to pick up our mail and newspapers, take care of my dog while I was in Birmingham, cook meals for us, run errands, you name it. They’re not making these offers reluctantly; we realize that they want to do something to help us.
They are giving us a great gift of their time and resources. In return, we are giving them the opportunity to be blessed for their service. I’m realizing that when I don’t allow myself to lean on others, I am denying them the opportunity of blessing. I think that through all of this, I’m learning to be a better leaner.