Friday, October 2, 2015

Don't Be a Hero?

A few weeks ago someone asked me how our family was doing.  After my standard answer of fine, I was told I didn't have to be a hero and could just ask for help. It was followed by "if you need anything, let someone know!"  Ummm, right.

I am pretty sure I smiled sweetly and gave another standard answer and walked away.

Sometimes it is just easier to give a standard answer.  It's kind of like that whole "how are you doing" thing.  Let's face it, most people don't really want to know how you are doing.  They want a smile and a quick "I'm great."  If we really launched into how we were doing every time someone asked us, I am sure people would run screaming for the hills and never ask again, right?

You see, we don't really need a thing. We need people.

There is a difference.

If I need the lawn mowed or the light changed or the oil in the car changed, I will get it done, even if I have to pay someone to do it.  Yes, it would be nice if someone came to help occasionally, but regardless, I can get that kind of thing done.

But you cannot buy company.  You can't hire someone to fill your quiet house with laughter and fun. Loneliness cannot magically be filled.

Those things require people.  Community.  Friends who are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to include others, even in the mundane of life.  To do life together.

Just for the record, I am not alone in this.  I hear it from single parents, widows, college students away from home, people who are sick or have an injury, and even the elderly.  They don't want you to tell them to call if they need anything.  If you are waiting for that call, then be prepared to wait for a long time.  I also realize that our yearlong situation pales in comparison to so many.  I praise God for what He has taught us through this -- that it has allowed my family to see needs we did not see before, to feel empathy we did not, and to understand people's hearts better.  I pray we will not miss this opportunity that God has given us to make a difference in others' lives.

Wanna make a difference?  Tell them when you are available to come visit.  Offer to pick up pizza and join them for a movie night.  Bake cookies with them.  Show up at their house to help fold clothes or take out the trash.  Pick up their child for the day and give them a rest. Remember weekends are lonely and holidays are worse.  Treat them like family, instead of some anomaly that no one knows quite what to do with.

Stop asking what you can do and tell them what you can do!  When we ask someone to let us know if they need anything, we are simple putting the responsibility back into their court and freeing ourselves of any action.  Yes, sometimes those words come from well-meaning people, I know, but just as often they are a cop-out.  I know, because I have used them.

This quote spoke to my heart months ago during a particularly hard week.  It summed up how I was feeling to a T.  Yes, in some ways I have to be a hero, because it is me or no one.  I don't do it to impress anyone or hear applause from anyone or to gain sympathy from anyone.  I do it to keep this family afloat until my husband returns.  And some days it is simply exhausting.  Most days it is very lonely. But what choice do I have?

Once again, through it all, I am thankful for friends who understand and a God that holds us close, loves us, protects us, and is OUR hero!  In the end, may He get the glory!


Linking up with friends!

A Divine Encounter


I Choose Joy!


  1. Thank you for this post. I agree, we do need to let people know that we actually care about them. In Hebrews it says "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."

    I used to work in retail stores a lot. And as each customer came up to the counter, I would ask them how they were doing that day. 99% of people would just say "Good," not even bothering to look up. But once in a while, I would get someone who would tell me all about their day. I really enjoyed listening to them, especially on the slow days. I remember one time, I asked this elderly couple how they were doing. The wife told me all about their evening, how they'd just gone out for a nice supper, because she just didn't feel like cooking today, and now they were buying bread, because the next day a bunch of their grandchildren were coming over for a visit. She ended it with "So by golly, I guess I'm just doing great!" I loved it.

    But, I know I'm guilty of the same thing. I'm always answering with "I'm doing well." 9 times out of 10 I'm not. We seem to think that talking about our problems is a sign of weakness. We want to be seen as strong. I know that I'm not. If it wasn't for God's strength, and the love and encouragement of certain people in my life, I wouldn't be able to make it.

  2. This is so true Michele! When my brother-in-law was in a bad car accident and was in the hospital for weeks, my sister-in-law decided she should say yes to whatever practical help was offered. She really could not think of anything when people said, "Call if you need something." But we were so appreciative when people took it upon themselves and did practical things.

    1. This is a good point! In times of stress, most people cannot even out into words what they need! Sometimes, it may just be a hug or a hand to hold, but we have GOT to act!

  3. I am going to share this post with the ladies in my bible study for they can relate to it. We meet for three weeks, have bible study, then on the 4th week we meet and share what is going on in our lives. It took a while for some to open up and we still have a couple who never share anything but thats ok. Most of the ladies love the time to be transparent. Sometimes a listening ear is what is needed, sometimes we find out someone does need a visit or a meal brought in. Good post.

    1. Thank you for sharing Betty- I will pray it will be a blessing to them! I love the way your Bible study is set up! A great idea and way to form connections!


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