By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service (Writer’s Opinion)
GROVE, OK (ANS – October 30, 2016) — “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality” — Romans 12:13 (NLT).
“Roll it, Carol!”
It was yet another reminder from a friend to follow instructions. The metal walker I have to use after knee replacement surgery is outfitted with wheels for a reason. Rolling instead of lifting the contraption is actually easier and safer. I couldn’t figure out why I was having trouble with this simple task.
Discharge instructions from the hospital required I have someone with me at home 24/7 for at least the first four to five days. Living alone for the past 15 years has led to a very independent lifestyle. Even before then, I lived under the burden of feeling indispensable. I thought I could handle everything that life threw at me. I also felt empowered, thinking others couldn’t make it without me.
However, since Jesus got ahold of me in 2001, I’ve learned some important lessons. First, I’m not in charge of the universe. I don’t have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Second, I must allow others the pleasure of helping me when I’m in need. I don’t have to pretend I can do it “all by myself,” like a stubborn two-year-old seeking independence from her parents. I’ve learned it is okay, at times, to “roll” instead of lift.
The second lesson has been the most difficult for me to grasp. While I have no trouble “doing for others” when they are in need, I hesitate to ask for assistance from others, especially when it is a task I can do for myself.
I thought I was prepared for post-surgery recovery. Pre-surgery knee pain had already imposed a slower pace of life. Arriving home from the hospital the day after surgery made me realize just how much I needed assistance from others. While I can perform everyday tasks, most take more effort and energy than usual.
Still, I was not prepared for the outpouring of Jesus’ love that came in the form of friends who have jumped in to come to my assistance. Old friends who have made the hour and a half drive one-way to stay the day and night to help care for my needs. New friends I’ve made since relocating from Claremore to Grove, friends who’ve also spent time away from family to help me. Church friends from both communities have provided me with nutritious home-cooked meals.
St. Teresa of Avila once said, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do His good. Yours are the hands through which He blesses the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are His body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
Are you the hands and feet of Jesus?
Photo captions: 1) Helping hands. (http://livingwaterlutheran.us/project/helping-hands-ministry/). 2) Carol Round.
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