Today I’m over at my friend Stacey’s blog, Chronically Whole. Stacey writes about surviving and thriving with chronic illness. As well, she gracefully tutors those of us who love other people with chronic illnesses in loving them better. I’m sharing a little bit on caring for others in practical ways. Join me?
It’s commonplace to rally around joyous transitions, signing up to bring new parents a meal or two to sustain them during the first sleepless days of a newborn’s life, pitching in to help the neighbors throw a graduation party for their high school senior. It’s also commonplace to circle the wagons around those who have lost a loved one with gifts of food and words of comfort. We’re generally good at extremes. It’s the in-betweens that tend to get lost, it seems to me. The not-quite-crises and the temporary hardships of friends, colleagues, and neighbors can be easy to overlook in the scheme of our own hectic lives. Maybe we believe–falsely, I surmise–that whatever little thing we might do just wouldn’t make a real difference, that whatever we might be able to offer might not be enough.
If that’s what we believe, I’m convinced we’re wrong.
I’m a Christian, and one of my favorite parts of the Bible is Chapter 2 of the book of Acts, specifically verses 44 and 45. Here’s what’s described:
All the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met. (The Message)
Isn’t that a beautiful picture? Each person’s needs was met because everyone shared what they had. If you’re like me, you’re probably imagining that they shared things like money, clothing, food, and housing, and I’m sure that was part of it. The passage says they pooled their resources, so that makes sense. But I think it’s more than that. The passage also says they “lived in a wonderful harmony.” I imagine they shared their time, their sympathy, their compassion. They made room for each other. I don’t think they were just meeting physical needs; I imagine they were meeting each other’s relational and emotional needs as well.
To read the rest, please join me over at Chronically Whole by clicking here.