Help yourself

"I want my mommy!"

Not an uncommon refrain during VBS, but this time it came from a young friend of ours who was visiting our program. "There's too many people here that I don't know! I want to go home!"

Little H, fresh from kindergarten didn't realize that two thirds of the other kids didn't know anyone when they'd arrived either. She and Bug (the only other child she knew in her class) had gotten separated at some point and she didn't want to get to know anyone new, she just wanted her mom to come get her.

I tried to call her mom, but didn't reach her. The newly-minted first graders were having snack (which is where I've been serving during VBS), so I let her stay with me at the snack station while waited for her mom to call.

After a few minutes she asked if she could help me pour the lemonade for the next group of kids. She quit worrying about the call as she busied herself making sure she filled each cup just enough, but not too much.

By the time snack was done, she had composed herself and I convinced her to join her class for craft time.

I realized that H had hit on something that many of us--years older--don't always realize. Instead of sitting and fretting over her situation, she got busy doing something. Her act of helping me made her feel useful and less lonely.

It got me thinking that the same thing that worked with H might work for grownups when we're lonely or sad and 'want to go home.'

  • If we're lonely, we can be a friend to someone.
  • If we feel unimportant, we can make someone else feel special.
  • If we feel out of place, we can find a way to serve.
  • If we're sad, we can cheer someone up.

When we take our eyes off our own situation, we often lose sight of what was troubling us in the first place.


Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

Oh what a great post and a great reminder! Focusing on others and something outside ourself also brings Him honor too...

Genny said...

So, so true! I loved this. You always have a great way of weaving everyday situations back to truth!

I wanted to pop by and thank you for your friendship, too...I cannot tell you how much I've apprecaited your encouragement, FB messages, emails, and stopping by my blog. I feel so blessed to "know" you!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Very wise advice, mary. Getting involved in someone else's life always takes the focus off of my own need and allows me the gift of being "used" for God. Hope your summer is going well. Mine is spending like a blur...


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