Friday, January 6, 2012

Accepting Help Gracefully

I've written twice before about my resistance to accepting help from others. Back in 2008, I mentioned that I thought it was because of pride. Then, in 2009, I thought it was because of arrogance. Tonight, I went back and read those posts again. I think I have made a lot of progress. The Lord seems to have answered my prayers for help in accepting help from others.

Thursday, for instance, a friend and his wife and I drove around (he was driving his van) trying to find places for them to sign up for occasional bags of free groceries. I had promised to show him these places a while ago, and decided that I'd better do this while I had a free morning.

He had the patience of a saint, trite as that sounds. Because of his patience, and after we'd made three stops, miles apart, we came home with some most welcome additions to the pantry. We didn't get tons of meat and produce, but we got some things to fill in the gaps and to extend what we had in our kitchens, to add a little variety to a very plain low-income selection.

In the meantime, this couple had some free coupons for a buffet and they offered to take my nephew (he's 55) and I to lunch that same day. My nephew was supposed to work to cover someone's shift but they cancelled the shift suddenly. Unexpectedly, I had nothing prepared for us for lunch or dinner and no cash to buy it with right then. This was a treat in two ways - we had not been "out" to eat in several months, plus eating at a buffet just after Noon would surely fill us and we could just snack in the evening or have a can of soup.

Instead of my usual "you shouldn't" and "we really can't impose," this time I thanked them happily, called my nephew and told him to be ready when we got to the house. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and our friends seemed to thoroughly enjoy our company as well.

Later that night, I realized that at one point, I wondered why they would bother to include us and then I realized I had helped them to get on the list for free food once a month. Prior to that, they had no knowledge of where to go and how to approach these centers. They ended up, also, with a list of other places. This will help them immensely in the coming months. He is hoping to begin picking up side money doing some handyman jobs in our community.

I mentioned this to a friend and she said she had noticed that many times, lately, she and her husband had received unexpected favors. Many times, it did not come from someone they had helped directly. However, they have a habit, like I do, of helping anyone who comes to them if it is something they can honestly help with.

Father, thank you so much for all the help others have extended to our household, and thank you, too, for trusting me enough to send folks my way so that I can help them in your name.

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