I knew the day would come. Seven years ago, an X-ray discovered them. There were a handful of stones in each of my kidneys. I knew the stories; “The pain is worse than childbirth.” Recently the day of reckoning finally came, and the pain was indeed worse than childbirth.
It wasn’t long before the text messages began showing up on my phone:
“I’m sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well, can I get you anything?”
“I’m on my way to the storecan I pick something up for you?”
My first inclination was to say, “No, we’re good.” But the truth was that we weren’t good. Jerry was out of town, and Anna wasn’t feeling well. I had no food in the house and couldn’t do a thing about it. I fought the urge to go it alone, and I accepted the offers to help.
Being sick is a humbling experience, especially the “sick” that I experienced with a kidney stone. I’m not used to people doing things for me. In fact, if I were perfectly honest, it makes me uncomfortable. I’m not sure why that is. Is it because as the mom, I’m supposed to take care of everyone? Or is it because, “I am a woman, and I am perfectly capable of taking care of things”? Whatever it is, it’s something I need to work on. I remember a recent sermon series in which my pastor suggested that it is prideful and selfish to not allow others to help you. I remember thinking, “Wow. I don’t let people help me. I have an issue here.”
So it’s not surprising to me that there was something to learn from this experience. In accepting those offers of support, I experienced God in a new way: through my friends, neighbors and co-workers. I experienced love and community in ways that I don’t typically get to experience itthrough compassion. The truth is that we are designed to live in community with one another. As my daughter so wisely said, “Mom, people want to help. You need to let them.”