While in the hospital this past week, we had the opportunity to be receivers. Normally I don’t like that. I like to think of myself as capable and self-sufficient. I would rather do things for other people than have them do something for me. I don’t want to feel indebted to someone else.
But I am.
I am not capable. I am not self-sufficient. I need others. That is why there are so many “one another” passages in the New Testament.
One of the lessons that God worked on in my life this past week is that sometimes the best gift I can give to someone is to receive theirs.
1. Sharing that you were praying – in between tests, procedures, and doctor’s meetings I would read texts, emails, comments on Facebook, and tweets to Crystal. Sometimes I would read 30+ different messages! They came from family, friends, and strangers. We had daily messages from all over the USA, Peru, Brazil, France, Indonesia, Tanzania, etc. That was incredible.
2. Sharing Scripture with us – we had various people text, post, or read verses to us, reminding of us of God’s incredible faithfulness. I can’t tell you how much this meant to us.
3. Praying Scripture with us – Hearing a friend pray to God on our behalf makes me cry. Every time. What a privilege to hear someone else take you before God and plead with Him. And it doesn’t have to be awkward. I think some people think that there is this hierarchy of who is allowed to pray with someone else. “If this person is 1) older; 2) more godly; 3) a more faithful church attender; 4) a Bible-reading fiend; 5) wears a tie; than I can’t pray with them for them.” FALSE.
4. Leaving voicemails and saying “don’t call me back, but I wanted you to know…” – this was a relief because I really couldn’t answer or return calls readily.
5. Staying with us – we had family drop what they had and stay with us. We had many more offer.
6. Sitting with us in silence and listening, asking what we were thinking or how we were doing
7. Bringing me lunch, dinner, or cookies (emphasis on the cookies!) – I had to eat a hospital TV dinner. Read that again. It was very thoughtful that the hospital staff would find one for me, but the fact remains, it was a HOSPITAL…TV…DINNER.
8. Cleaning our house while we were in the hospital – this greatly relieved Crystal. I thought it was fine, but Crystal was still thinking about cleaning our bathrooms while I was trying to figure out how I would ever give her a shot. She should have been more worried about that. She knows that now.
9. Picking me up to run a few errands so I didn’t have to drive – after the car accident, birth, and stroke, you should all be thanking the person who did this and kept me from getting behind the wheel! My nerves were shot.
10. Bringing/sending flowers, cards, and balloons – One older delivery guy knocked on our door on the Stroke Floor (7th) and handed us some flowers and a balloon. He then stopped and said, “I need to check and make sure this is the right person.” The nurse walking by, looked up at the balloon that said “Congrats! It’s a girl!”, and told the delivery man, “I’m pretty sure its theirs.” Apparently we were the only new parents on the stroke floor!
So these are some (only a few of the many) of the things that you did to encourage us. We thank God for family, friends, and strangers who lived out Colossians 3:16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thanksgiving in your hearts to God.”
God used you in our lives.