Monday, October 26, 2009

Seeing the Real Need

A household member has become the person of choice for one of his friends for a recurring favor. This friend has a brother who undergoes dialysis a few times a month. Most days, this friend can drop off and pick up his brother. But at least twice a month, he calls our home and asks my middle-aged nephew to pick his brother up at the center and take him home. Gas money is always compensated.

This is not usually a problem. We have become used to the sudden and unexpected nature of the calls. The friend's job often makes the call an unforeseen necessity. He likes to help the friend's brother, who is obviously the one in need. The brother asking the favor, however, is often curt, brusque, and inconsiderate in the way he asks. He normally brushes it off.

Tonight, He had just come home from a 12-hr shift and was just ready to shower and flop into bed for a few hours before going back on the job again. The call came. No idea when the pickup would be. We waited several hours. Finally, he was told it would be within the hour. This all held up the evening routines. He told his friend that he just could not do it that late; he needed his own rest. He drives a cab these days, and rest is important because he has the safety of his passengers, not just himself, at stake. After a half hour, he decided to do it anyhow.

As he explained, and I totally understood, his friend was not the one in need. He had to get past his friend's inconsiderate way of asking for this favor, and the slightly demanding nature of the request which the friend now expects to be done. He said, and this is the whole point, the brother on dialysis is the one in need, and that is the whole purpose of the favor. He would not sleep well if he did not help bring this man home after his physically draining ordeal.

Many times, I have had to remind myself, also, when doing favors or when helping someone, to keep the real need in mind.

Dear God, thank you for blessing him with the ability to get past the way this was done, and for giving him the fortitude to help this young man in need; remind me when I am in similar situations, to keep the real need in mind, and thank you for trusting us to help you in these cases.

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