Heavy Lifting

As I enter our church’s sanctuary this Sunday, a man whom I knew but had only spoken to a handful of times stops me with a gentle smile. “Angie,” he says, looking intently, “We are praying. Over and over and over we are praying for you.” I bow my head, already weepy from the truths we had sung earlier in the service. “Thank you.” I choke out, humbled.

Christmas Eve Brian runs into a family after our service. “Is Angie here?” Yes. “Oh, good. We were hoping she would be, but if not we were going to stop by and sing carols for her. We have these.” and they hand him bags of apples, banana bread, spiced pecans and hot chocolate.

“Oh, my dear.” a dear elderly lady sees me each week at church and kisses my cheek and fusses with my hair. “I love you so MUCH. I just want you to stop that nasty old chemo!”

The text pops up a few days after she delivers a meal. I saw your meals ended on Monday. Would you let my family and me bring you dinner Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday? Again, the tears spring, and my thumbs hesitate over my keyboard. Do I really neeeeeeeed them? Yes. I responded. What a blessing! I had just told my mom I wasn’t sure what meal needs I’d have with my new chemo. She replies, Thank you for letting us serve you.

My friend comes to visit last weekend and brings with her a note from someone I only know by name. She had written truth and love and prayers on a paper towel at a restaurant for me when she heard Donna was coming down to see me. Her words could not have been more perfect for my weary heart that day.

Another text today. I’m at Costco. Can I pick up anything for you?

Y’all, I could share story after story after story… the phone calls, the emails, the hugs, the letters, the texts. Not to make it about me. Not to make it about you. But to make it about God and His glory.

I struggle often with how little I have to give these days… with how much I am receiving and taking (and rarely finding the time to write the notes of thanks I long to express). But the truth of the matter is that when I say, “Yes.” to those people who offer their help, I am helping them, too. I’m helping them serve as they have been led. It’s a hard lesson to learn.

This post isn’t much, really. Just another opportunity for me to share how you’ve blessed me and humbled me.

In His book, Side by Side (which is by far the best book on community and what it looks like to care for one another I’ve ever read), Ed Welch writes in the introduction, “Along the way we will find that God is pleased to use ordinary people, ordinary conversations and extraordinary and wise love to do most of the heavy lifting in His kingdom. The basic idea is that those who help best are the ones who both need help and give help. A healthy community is dependent on all of us being both…We were meant to walk side by side, an interdependent body of weak people.”

Thank you.

Thank you for being the ordinary people who are doing some extraordinary heavy lifting for our family and His kingdom.

We are grateful.

4 responses to “Heavy Lifting”

  1. This is such a hard lesson for us to learn, but so true. You are blessed by the huge community of believers who are serving and honoring the Lord by encouraging and serving you and your family. Prayers continue as you are so frequently brought to mind.

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  2. Regina Crouse Avatar
    Regina Crouse

    Angie, I have followed your blog for a long time. Your very strong faith that you share so generously is a true inspiration to many. I pray for you and I cry for you but I give thanks to God each time you get the tiniest bit of good news from your doctors. You say you have little to give, but you give so much. God bless you always.

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  3. My precious Angie,

    To God be the glory for this grace that is abounding to you in fullest measure. What a blessing it is to hear of His mercy.

    Praying for you.

    Love and blessings,
    Judie

    Like

  4. melissa moslow Avatar
    melissa moslow

    I love you, dear Angie.
    You are SPOT ON with this one!

    Love Always,
    Melissa

    Like

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