Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
I memorized the verse before I ever went to grade school. It seems like I've always just known it.
However that day, I saw it differently.
That day I didn't see it as a command. I saw it as a way of life.
Do for others like you want someone else to do for you.
And I wondered, "If anyone could do anything for me right now, what would it be?"
I made a list. I would want someone to:
--point out the things I'm doing well since I get imprisoned by the things I'm doing wrong.
--notice when I'm not there.
--think about how to help before I have to ask.
--be a safe place.
Over time the list has changed. When I became a parent, I thought of things like:
--hold the squirming baby so I can have a bit of rest since my husband was on the road or catching up on sleep all the time.
--invite me to coffee with no hubby or kids are welcome.
--just know being a mom is exhausting and hard.
More things happened, and I added bits about when parents get sick and die. Or when a spouse dies. Or when a spouse leaves.
The list isn't in concrete. It isn't even on paper. It's just a mental list I keep, and I've prayed often for God to let me be those things for others. Hard times happen. I wanted to be the haven when they do.
This week the Lord granted me the gift of being several of those things. I can't tell you the details because obviously the needs were personal. I don't want you to think I'm telling you this because I'm so great or look what I did. It's not that.
I'm telling you because I prayed a prayer 20 years ago that the Lord is faithfully answering, and I am humbled that He heard and even more humbled that He gives me this gift. It isn't that these people don't have someone else they can call. It's that they called me. It's that He gave me a big house so I can let folks stay when they need a place, and I can feed them, and I can offer a reprieve and maybe give them time to rest so they can keep on this journey and move forward with courage and hope. To be able to do that is priceless to me.
Sometimes the greatest gift isn't what He gives me. Sometimes the greatest gift He gives is who He empowers me to be and what He lets me give to others. Sometimes the greatest gift is being the tool He uses to help someone else live their story.
Copyright 2014 Jerri Kelley Phillips