LWA Blog

Sometimes real needs are silent, when love looks like a vacuum

Lisa O'Brien-Wentzel
Sometimes.. The way we organize and systematize “Love”, usually in the form of primary care, is not bad, but seems to cause people to go on some sort of “care auto pilot”, and weaken our muscles of empathy and compassion. Sometimes when we think “help” we think of people in certain organizational categories “homeless”, “needy child”, “elderly”. Of course this is true, helping orphans, widows and the like, is good. But it seems that it can become hard to REALLY listen, to someone outside of the “weak box” who is REALLY hurting, and not just send them off to the ‘Democratic Dept of people who help you with our tax dollars’. Because we may get THAT feeling too. The one that cares. The one may have to do something.. ——————– Karen DID NOT do that. I had gone to hospital every day for 5 weeks with my kids, ages 6, 4 and 2. One by one they all had contracted E-Coli. Remember those E-Coli scares about 18 years ago? Where some folks had died from this particular strain found possibly in ground beef. Yep. That was us. Karen knew about my life, that along with my caring for my kids, I was the local “koolaid mom”, I served in my school, and I served in my community. She witnessed me from afar go crazy juggling my responsibilities with a smile while my secret stress and sorrows ran through me. I held it all together, after all, I was the lady who always gave help, not got help. I was not in a “need box”. I did not need money. I could hold it all together, even now, with my children ill I could speak of hope and healing and being strong! ——————– Karen had listened and heard, that my middle son was being moved to intensive care at Children’s Memorial Hospital here in Chicago. That is the place where the real sick kids go. I would go there and stay in quarantine with him for as long as it took. I was home packing. Karen knew that people who hold it all together and don’t much ask for help, need love too sometimes. She came over to my home. She didn’t ask of course. She just came. “I hope you don’t mind, she said. I don’t want to bother, but I want to do SOMETHING” “To help, to show my love” “I know that you cant come up with a job to delegate to me, I know you don’t want to talk or cry” ” I know you don’t need a gift card” “I can clean. Im good at that.” “If you don’t mind, while you pack, I will help clean and close up your home and get your mail, so that when you are gone, you need not worry about those things, and you will not have to come home to a load of work, or rotten milk, or a yard to mow” THAT HELPED ME. And she cleaned. She vacuumed under my couch, scrubbed my fridge, scrubbed the tub, sorted the socks, mowed the yard, hugged me, told the neighborhood kids where we were, and let me pack and leave, while she went on. I felt no burden to talk or direct her or stay with her. I did not ask. No, I did not NEED a deep cleaning. No, she could not directly heal my son. No, I would not have died if she did not help. I did not even know that I had a need. I did not realize that I had been feeling alone in my battle. I did take worry off of me, far more than I realized I had. It did show me that she cared. I felt loved. It encouraged me to go on helping others, since I was helped in my time of need. I went to the hospital MUCH stronger in spirit. Who knows how important my strength of spirit may have been to the recovery of my son who I held in bed for 3 days straight as he neared kidney failure. Who knew I would need that strength when I got the “death talk” from the doctors. Who knew how strong it would make me when I calmed down grandma who heard the news about her grandson, and who watched the news on tv about those who had died. Who knew that my calmness could help my son and his doctors as well. Karen didn’t know. She just loved from a place of empathy and compassion because, we are not called to know, but to love. I will never forget that day when Karen cleaned. ——————————

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  • Worldviewmatters

    Jesus was inclusively exclusive – Rob Bell message is not love, Jesus on the cross is LOVE!nn2 Corinthians 11:14u201315 (ESV)n14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. n