It takes strength to be humble, which sounds so weird – and opposite. But I believe it takes strength to lay down our self-sufficiency and our independence and allow someone to serve us. It doesn’t come naturally – that’s for sure. But when we do just that, when we allow someone in closer than we are comfortable with, I believe we experience something holy.
It is one o’clock in the afternoon and I am still walking in the holiness of a moment from this morning.
A very good, strong-willed, independent, caring, super self-sufficient, energetic, loving, serving friend of mine experienced a medical emergency last week that was terrifying. After five days in the hospital and some new hardware in her body, she is back home. Home with her four girls, husband, dogs, horses and very full life ~ that is a little on hold while she spends some time in recovery mode. This morning I arrived early to drive her girls to school – she didn’t have much of a choice in receiving this because for right now she can’t drive; she was gracious and thankful. As I left the house I told her I would return after the drop offs to help with her morning routine.
This is where it got holy.
Washing her hair by herself is tricky right now so I offered to help her, and she graciously accepted. So there we stood over the sink, me washing her hair, scrubbing and massaging that scalp that I’ve never touched before. Then we went in the bathroom and between the two of us we dried her hair, laughing and talking the whole time. It felt beautiful. We had good and deep conversation that would have never happened had this not taken place.
I wanted to write about this today because I believe allowing others to serve us in very personal ways is one of the hardest, most necessary things we can do. I know, I have experienced it myself – my last pregnancy left me bedridden and hooked up to IV’s with two small children running around a very cluttered home with a very sick mom. I sobbed as I had to lay down my desire to do this by myself and not open my door to those wanting to help. I hated the first time two friends walked in to help, I was embarrassed by what they saw, and quite frankly I smelled. Showering wasn’t happening on a daily basis, I was just too sick. But I will never forget the lessons I learned while I lay on my couch being served with great love.
I continue to learn that being served isn’t just about the one on the receiving end. Even with cluttered counter-tops and a to-do list myself, I promise you there wasn’t a more significant or fulfilling place for me to be this morning than with my friend. I am full to the brim, in fact I am overflowing. She has clean hair and my soul is refreshed.
Please, please, please – if (when) you find yourself in that place of making the decision to let others in to your very real places of need, use your strength to lay down whatever you have to lay down, open the door and let them in. Trust me, I know it will be hard, but you may never know what holiness you may be inviting into those moments.