Thursday, 22 April 2010

Kindness of Friends

Owing to the kindness of friends who have offered to pick up our children in the Netherlands and take them to their ferry, we will not after all have to spend 15 hours on the road on Sunday. The children will travel by rail. There's only one change - so it's pretty easy. Thank you Lord. Big relief for F, who has a massive amount of work to do and was dreading this weekend, thinking that he'd never get it all done.

I have to admit to being pretty up tight last week - wondering how we'd get the children back to the UK - the whole reorganisation of everything was a huge mountain for me - who hates organising anything. We had guests, packing for the children, plus we discovered that our tortoise had died in hibernation, which involved some self-recrimination for some of us, as we thought that we ought to have got her out of her winter sleep earlier. On the other hand she may have had an infection and being low in resistance, succumbed in her sleep. Anyway, I was up to my eyes in things and was feeling rather frazzled. Strange and ironic, how people we wouldn't expect to help, do, and those who we've known for years show not the slightest interest in us or our predicament. Keep your eyes on God, daughter, and not on man.

Friendship has to be more than just occasionally seeing one another on a social basis. I guess that's why relationships in organised church were always so superficial. They were about seeing each other at meetings and if you didn't turn up and show presence; get involved in the programme, then you were considered lacking in committment. And if you left the group, then it was a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'. Leaving the group meant that you were outside others' area of commitment and responsibility.

Another thing is learning to ask for help. No-one wants to be a burden on others, but receiving help humbly is so hard to learn sometimes. I offered help to a friend recently and then was humbled to discover that I couldn't fulfil my offer. It was very embarrassing and I felt terrible, but it wasn't a problem for my friend, who has a very generous nature - and in any case, she was able to get through her difficulty with the help of family and those closer to her. I am probably too quick to offer help, instead of waiting for the nudging of the Holy Spirit. If I'm doing the works that God has prepared for me to do, then there's no stress in the doing, or not doing. Because He is is charge of all time and knows what I can and can't do. And it's important not to compare myself with others.

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