Last month on President’s Day, our office was officially closed. Still, I found myself working from home, doing some preparation for Spring Tour. My husband was home too, his office also closed. By afternoon, we decided a change in scenery was a good idea and headed off to Barnes and Noble, one of our favorite spots. There is something about working while sipping a skinny cafe mocha from a Starbucks inside Barnes and Noble, which brings a sweet feeling of relaxation to me. On this particular day, having Steve next to me, made this seem like a vacation. Upon arrival, we quickly noticed there were a lot of young families in Barnes and Noble that day, likely due to schools being closed and the rainy atmosphere outside. No problem . . . there was a separate, quiet seating area upstairs.
On the second floor, the right corner is set up with six or seven large comfy, oversized chairs. We were pleasantly surprised when we found two right next to each other and quickly put our belongings down, claiming our spot. I told Steve I would run down and get us both a specialty coffee, with the gift card I had. I wasn’t sure how much money was on the gift card, so I grabbed my wallet too and made my way back down the escalator to the cafe area.
I ordered our coffees and then waited patiently for the few minutes while they were made. Grabbing my two drinks, one in each hand, I balanced my wallet between them. As I headed back to the UP escalator, I abruptly stopped in my tracks. You see, right in front of me, were two little girls. One was about eight, and the other was probably two or three. The older of the two was trying to convince her little sister to get on the escalator, but this sweet little girl couldn’t muster the courage to take that first step. I looked up at the top, and I saw her mommy holding a baby and her daddy with another child in hand, trying to coax her on. The line of those waiting to “go up” was beginning to form. At that moment, the older sister couldn’t take the pressure any longer and stepped onto the escalator, hoping her courage would inspire her little sister, but it didn’t. As the older sister traveled up the incline, the little girl was left standing, paralyzed with fear. Something had to be done to help her, so the mommy in me went into action.
Remember, I had a cup of coffee in each hand, so I couldn’t pick up the little girl or take her hand in mind. However, in line behind me, was another mom with her child. I quickly asked her if she could hold my two coffees, which she gladly took. Then, I looked at the little teary-eyed girl and said, “come on, I’ll help you.” Picking her up, I stepped on the escalator and up we went. So, she would not be afraid, I said, “look, your mommy is right at the top waiting for you.” In five seconds, it was over. I retrieved our specialty coffees from the women behind me, who said, “sometimes it takes a village!” The little girls’ mommy thanked me as I placed her child on stable ground, and I was back at my comfy seat, handing Steve his cafe mocha as if nothing had happened.
At that moment, God spoke to me and said, “Sometimes, you just need to pick someone up and help them, so they can get where I want them to go.” Wow! So simple and yet crucial to who I want to be. There are women everywhere that God wants to use, but they are afraid to step forward, and we can help them. Maybe you are one of them.
The account in Luke chapter five, about the man who was paralyzed and desperately needed to get to Jesus, reminds me of how our sisterhood of women can work at its best. In this story, a paralyzed man was not able to physically get himself to the right location at the right time to be healed by Jesus. However, he had friends who were willing to pick him up and take him to Jesus. The bible says that these friends found a way, even when there were obstacles presented in front of them.
“Some men took a man who was not able to move his body to Jesus. He was carried on a bed. They looked for a way to take the man into the house where Jesus was But they could not find a way to take him in because of so many people. They made a hole in the roof over where Jesus stood. Then they let the bed with the sick man on it down before Jesus.” Luke 5:18-20 (NLT)
That is the person I want to be during this part of my life journey, don’t you? If we look for opportunities to help someone become all that God wants them to be, we will accomplish so much more than we can individually. Plus, the kingdom of God will be blessed. The question becomes, how can we do that in all of our busy lives. Here are a few ideas.
Prefer one another.
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Ask yourself this question. When you have looked at Facebook, Instagram, or Snap Chat, has someone’s post made you feel sad or inadequate? If so, then you may struggle with “preferring one another.” We often measure ourselves by someone else’s wins like we are in a contest against each other. I’ve done that and I am sure you have too.
The words “Her success is not my failure” from our 2020 RECLAIM Promo, ring true. Remember, we are not in a contest, we are a sisterhood, on the same team.
Galatians 6:10 “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Look for the opportunities around you. Be a cheerleader in someone’s life. When I was growing up, my mom was not big on words or affection. I realize that this trait, and my personality type (Enneagram 1) do not lend themselves naturally to be an encourager, so I have to continually work on this. We can use social media effectively if we look for opportunities to do good. If you are reading this, I’m cheering you on!
Psalm 11:25 “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”
There seems to be something so refreshing about helping others. Why? Because it’s God’s promise that when we refresh others, we will also be refreshed. Feeling a little dry? Could it be that your focus is too inward? I’ve been there, believe me.
That day in Barnes and Noble, a simple act of kindness changed my day and changed the atmosphere. At that moment, we were no longer strangers, we were all part of helping the little girl. Without the women behind me holding my two cups of coffee, I wouldn’t have been able to help. Together, we became a dream team.
Harry Truman once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
As we RECLAIM those things in 2020 that God has promised us, let’s be aware that others are also on their own journey. Let’s PREFER OTHERS, TAKE ACTION, and BE GENEROUS this year and watch God step into our stories and make it HIStory.