Monday, April 23, 2007

In "Other" Words

"Busyness is not a spiritual gift."
~ Lisa Harper ~
Tonight after dinner I was headed outside with three of my children for a walk. For the past week, I have been walking in the evenings for exercise and enjoying the nice weather. I was excited to get out tonight and make my way through our neighborhood.
I was standing in the street waiting for my daughter to get her scooter and fastening the buckle to a wiggly two year old in the stroller. My six year old had come racing down the driveway on his bike explaining something about the brakes when I heard the sound of a baby crying. I heard one of my neighbors calling across the street to my next door neighbor who I hadn't noticed sitting on her front porch with her new baby. She asked how she was doing and I heard my neighbor reply, "oh, just ok, my baby is really fussy and we aren't getting much sleep." They chatted for a few minutes when the neighbor who had been doing the inquiring shouted, "you know what that is like don't you Chris?" For a very small second I thought just answer the question, "yes" and be on your way down the street to enjoy the walk. After all I told myself, "you deserve this time alone with your own children and you have been looking forward to this walk all day and don't mess up your routine now," but before I could finish the thought, I heard the nudging of the Holy Spirit to go over and see how she was doing.
I walked up to her yard and asked if I could hold her seven week old son. She explained all about his fussiness, her lack of sleep (I could see it in her eyes) and her own post pregnancy health concerns. I remembered how difficult those early weeks and even months can be when you have a little one who doesn't sleep. For the next hour I stood outside and held her little one. He fussed for awhile, I talked and cooed with him. I patted his back and rubbed his tummy trying to bring some relief. My own children realized mom was no longer going for her walk and had headed off to join some kids in a game of baseball.
Soon the baby's dad who had been visiting with another neighbor came over and we all stood and talked while the little guy finally settled down and was fast asleep in my arms. He was even snoring. I continued to hold the baby while mom and dad were able to enjoy a moment. I stood and listened as they talked about how difficult the days and nights had been and how their three year old was handling the new addition to their family. I was no longer concerned about my own agenda, but truly grateful that for a moment my own busyness (or maybe my own plans might be a better word) had not interfered with an opportunity to share the Love of God through my available arms.
You see my neighbors know my husband is a Pastor. We know they don't go to church anywhere. We don't want to preach at them, but we do want to show the Love of God by how we live our lives. At the moment, I was hoping the other neighbor would stay and visit with her, but she didn't. Busyness is not a spiritual gift. In fact, often times (moms especially) run from here to there all in the name of "good" things and how many truly "good" things are they missing out on because they are just too busy? My home has been my "busyness" measuring stick for many years now. It usually speaks to whether or not I am too busy. Of course, there are always seasons when things get a bit crazy, but that is not where we want to live.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you Psalm 63:3
For more In "other" Words visit Christine at Fruit In Season

24 comments:

Denise said...

Enjoyed this, very well said.

Jen said...

bless you Chris

MiPa said...

What a beautiful illustration of the quote. Thank you.

Julie Fink said...

What a good "soul winning" moment.

Rachelle said...

Wonderful, beautiful story that illustrates the quote. I'm so glad you weren't to busy to "be Jesus" for that poor sleep-deprived mom!

Terri @ In His Hands said...

Bless you for taking the time to be with that woman. What better way to show Christ's love and patience to a tired mom? You are a light, Chris!

Pearls of Wisdom said...

Enjoy your week . Blessings and thank you for sharing.

In his endless love,

Angel ( Angel Mama Pearls of Wisdom)

Sue said...

How awesome! I pray I remember this when the opportunity arises.
I'll bet you blessed that Moms socks off by holding that baby for her.
Praise God for divine appointments!

Laurel Wreath said...

Chris this is such a wonderful post. I love how you demonstrated how God puts opportunities in our path, if we are too busy we can miss it.

Susanne said...

Beautiful Chris. What a great lesson for us and a great witness of the love of God to that young couple.

God orchestrated that to minister to that mom and good for you for recognizing it. I need to start opening my eyes more to those "God coincidences".

Deidre said...

What a perfect way to show the love of God to a new mother. When my girls were newborns, my husband and I always said we felt like we were on a deserted island and the world would drift by on a boat and look at us and wave, but wouldn't dare pull in for a visit. I'm sure your 'visit' was a great encouragement to her.

Christine said...

What a wonderful story of allowing God to use you in the moment. And I love your image of the "measuring stick", it's the same in my home. Beautiful post, Chris, thanks for participating.

Amydeanne said...

totally sweet! only if more of us would do that!

meLanie said...

it's really interesting living next door to someone, interacting in a way that you don't with most. they have the opportunity in small ways see the real you in many respects, what your really all about. blessings to your house this week.

Dandelion Momma-Janis said...

What a wonderful way to show God's love to your neighbors! I think that this is the kind of love that Jesus wants us to give without beating people over the heads with Jesus and His message. Busyness can definitely become a part of life for us if we are not careful! Blessings to you!

Nancze said...

I enjoyed your post very much. Thank you for sharing. God Bless

The Preacher's Wife said...

I can't tell you the number of times I have felt that same urging to linger when all I wanted to do was rush to number next...what a blessing you were to that neighbor. She won't soon forget it!

Kim said...

What a wonderful example for me. Divine appointment kept by Chris. OK now I am going to start praying for a "hold the baby" moment...

Thank you for being you!
Kim

Natalie Joy said...

I bet that young mom was so blessed and encouraged. What a great divine appointment for the both of you.

Linda said...

I really enjoyed reading your post Chris (I always do). It's been many years since I struggled with a newborn, but you never really forget those days. I can imagine how grateful that young mother was for a few moments peace. I agree - we shouldn't get too busy to have time to respond to that gentle nudging of the Spirit. Our lives can get so hectic at times. It is good to know we are grounded in the One who can order our days with such wisdom.

Heth said...

Love this.

Heather said...

This was beautiful and true--I have had it open all day trying to finish reading it--interruptions bounded and now, at 11:00pm I have FINALLY gotten to comment and forget what all I wanted to say. *Sigh

Cyndi said...

Oh, Chris I just loved reading this! This is how mothering was meant to be- NOT in isolation, but in community. I am reminded of what Jesus said about receiving little children in His name. What a precious, precious thing you did. She got a glimpse of our loving God. :)

Rachel Anne said...

Busyness is not a spiritual gift...oh that's a good one. This was such a good post.