I have been accused of a being great many things in my life. Many of them I would not choose to reprint here. I recently have found myself being accused of being, well, selfless. It seems so hard to understand to me. I know me and know just how selfish I can be (as an old country song plays in my head). Yet I have lately had statements similar to the following made to me:
“You are selfless beyond words.”
“You are such a good friend.”
“You are a so kind.”
“You are a saint.”
“You are amazing”
I am pretty sure “You are crazy” has been implied, along with some of these statements, but not actually uttered.
Now, I don’t say these things to brag about me. I don’t actually believe these statements to be completely true (some of them not even slightly true!), except maybe the one about being crazy. So why am I telling you this? Well, the truth is, I think we can all be those things, at times.
I have little to offer in way of helping people. I am a super busy homeschooling mom with 5 kids ages 10-2. I don’t have much (if any) extra cash for giving to those in need. I don’t have the ability to go to foreign countries and be a missionary and build houses and feed the hungry. I don’t have the skill to do a great many things that people need done.
I do have one main skill, ability, resource to offer. I can offer my home and heart (such as it is) to care for the children of friends in need. I have been willing to babysit many friends kids and left them somehow amazed at my willingness. This puzzles me somewhat, and yet I am beginning to see that this is more than a nice thing to do.
A year or so ago, a friend of mine offered to teach my very musically talented child (with a nearly tone deaf mother) piano. I could not pay her normal rates, and yet she was will to just do it for the good of my child and for the kindness to a friend. I felt grateful, and yet unworthy. I wanted to do some great kindness to show her my appreciation. I brought her dinner as some small token of thanks. She simply said she believes in the power of “pay it forward”. Wow!
I didn’t realize until today, that is is basically what is motivating me to help my friends. I know they may not ever “repay” me with the same amount of childcare or whatever one would consider a “fair” trade, yet I know each of these people have the heart to help others. Each of them helps other people, expecting no return of favor.
Perhaps if we each help the next person when we can, that person can someday help another and so forth, and the world will be much more the place God intends it to be. So for now I will content myself to watch others go out and do glorious works for God, and I will plod along doing the few minor things I can to help out.