Twelve years ago I had my very first surgery to repair a hernia. Thinking I can handle just about anything, I was positive that I would just spring right back into action. But that didn’t happen.
About a week following my surgery a friend of mine called me to check up on me. As I started telling him how I was still forced to depend on other people to do my work around the house, I burst into tears as I expressed my feelings of helplessness.
To lose our independence, even temporarily, can be frightening. We all like to stand on our own two feet, to be independent, and to be responsible in getting our own work done. So, having to rely on the assistance of those around leaves us feeling inadequate and vulnerable.
A friend of mine was just recently diagnosed with a medical problem that, due to doctor’s orders, prohibits her from driving. This in itself is discouraging enough. But when you’re a mom (a.k.a. taxi driver) it’s overwhelmingly disheartening.
Many friends and family members have offered to give her rides to wherever she needs to go. I understand how this dependence on others can be troubling for her, but I hope she knows it is exactly what they WANT to do.
When the heart is pure, love responds to love alone and has little to do with duty, obligation, requirement, or heroic anything. It is easy to surrender when you know that nothing but Love and Mercy is on the other side.
- from Breathing Under Water
I pray that this is only a temporary situation for her. But even if it isn’t, I hope she knows that we will always be here to help…because we are friends, we are family, we are brothers and sisters in Christ, and we are, after all, (said with a wink of an eye) from the West side! …and because, if roles were reversed, she would do the exact same thing!
May the Holy Spirit guide us to be generous in building up our society so that no one’s genuine needs go unmet. Like Jesus, may we come to serve, not to be served.
- from A Retreat With Pope John Paul II