Helping from Weakness

Life is hard right now. In early October my dear mom died.Stained glass window

Last spring we found out she had cancer and that her time with us was limited. Even so her death is a shock. I feel sad, angry, confused, disoriented. Sometimes disconnected, like a leaf that’s fallen from the tree but not yet landed on the ground

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I was feeling screwed up and lonely and aimless yesterday, so I decided to walk to Starbucks.

I walked out into cold, cloudy, day-after-snow weather. Melting snow made everything feel damp and gray.

On the sidewalk a block from home I met a frieSanctuarynd. She was having a bad day too. The way she walked looked lonely and aimless. I recognized it.

We hugged and talked. My friend was trying to get into the sanctuary at our church but couldn’t get the door open. So we walked back to the church door, holding onto each other and remembering that Christmas is about Jesus taking human form so we could walk next to him, hold onto him.

Together we opened. Through two sets of doors, into the sanctuary and I could feel her relief.

My grace is sufficient for you.

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I worry that we usually try to help each other from strength. “You are messed up, but I am strong, so I will fix you.”

My friend and I helped each other, but not from strength. Both of us were sinking under the weight of our own problems and the darkness of the season. (15-hour nights right now.) The few serendipitous minutes together lifted our heads, dislodged some of the pain.

Neither one of us was out there because we felt capable or had answers. We were out there because we felt broken.

My power is made perfect in weakness.

Jesus became weak for us. He chose weakness so that He could love us. Certainly strength is more comfortable. Am I willing to surrender it?

As I set out with a purpose of helping others, especially my neighbors living in poverty, I want to ask myself: Do I want to give my strength, my answers, and my (questionable) wisdom, or do I want to share in receiving God’s grace?

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

2 thoughts on “Helping from Weakness”

  1. 2 Corinthians 12:9 is the same verse that spoke to me when I was pregnant with twins and losing my mind with worry and fear. It is why my daughter Grace was given her name. (Hubby had different reasons. But that one is mine). So thankful that God put that moment in front of both of you to share.

    1. What a beautiful name-origin story! In the abstract, this seems delightfully counterintuitive. But in my lived experience, it is more painful and exhilarating. (Like parenting. And marriage.)

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