Last night, Kara sent me this article written by her friend and editor, John Blase. [Backstory: I am a fan of this man. He is a poet and a dear friend of the late Brennan Manning, whom I credit with helping me understand the gospel. I met Mr. Blase at church a few months ago and became my alter ego, DorkyMouse. I couldn’t strand four words together to form a complete thought, and yet he was so kind and gracious. If you’re not already a fan, you will be.)
The article made me cry. I thought back to just over a year ago when I was pregnant and about to pop. We didn’t know that Kara’s cancer was back yet. We thought she was on her way to physical health and wellness. But still, she was weak from fighting. And she kept nagging me, wanting to come over and help me with something.
I’d say, “I’m just pregnant. I am fine. I can’t even think of anything for you to do!” She offered to have her girls come and vacuum and dust, she said she would do all my laundry and change my sheets, and she even volunteered to scrub my floors.
Good grief, I’d say. There are so many sick and hurting people in our community. I couldn’t possibly ask you to go to work for me.
But she was persistent and I finally asked her and Polly to come and clean out my fridge. And what a gift! It was disgusting, and climbing back in there to throw out all the grody stuff and scrub the shelves was too much with my huge belly. But more than that, I saw such joy in Polly and Kara’s faces. They sang as they worked, joked around, played with Baby V and gave him squeaky kisses. No wonder Kara wanted to help me. It’s a blessing to help others.
And now Mr. Blase has captured Kara’s heart so well in her willingness to allow people into her life, into her home, to help her. As I read, I had one thought—what if one reason we shrink from asking for help is that we’re afraid that person will say no? What if they reject us when we’re already down?
I think that is a very real possibility for many of us. We’ve all been hurt and we’ve all been rejected and we’ve all been mistaken about relationships. What if I ask for help with my children, marriage, home, depression, anger, confusion, and it turns out that friend is not a safe place? Not only did I misjudge our relationship and get rejected, but now they know my mess, my ugly.
That is so convicting to me. I want to be like Kara and Polly, willing to come into my home and clean the grossness with joyful hearts. I want to be a safe place for friends’ messes and ugliness. I never want them to fear approaching me and asking for help. I always want to experience the joy and blessing of helping one another.