One day I was scrubbing in at the NICU and James' doctor spotted me and approached. She reported that James was not doing well and when I asked why she said it was because of the brain trauma. It was not the news I wanted to hear. She left and I went back to my washing, trying not to break down in the very public NICU entrance.
I was not doing a very good job. My eyes were filled with tears, my chin was quivering, I was biting my lip, and I was choking back sobs.
And then a woman approached me. A concierge at the hospital, she must have watched the exchange from across the room. She came with a box of tissues and a sincere look of compassion and concern on her face. She put her arm around my back, placing her free hand on my shoulder and she asked if I was okay. Did I just get some bad news? Was there anything she could do? She expressed her sympathy and told me she would pray for me and my son. She took my hand and squeezed it and we parted ways - she went back to her desk and I went to James' bedside.
It was a warm, tender moment and I still carry it in my heart. I know the woman is a Christian and I believe she was loving me as she would Christ. If I was Jesus to her, she was Veronica to me.
More recently I was checking out at the grocery store. James was crying which was making Ben fuss and L worry. I was feeling completely frazzled when a woman approached me. "May I hold your son and comfort him?" she asked, seeing I was busy with paying and keeping my eye on my other two children. With my permission she scooped him up and soothed him.
"I will walk you to your car," she told me. She told me she had raised 5 children, all closely spaced, and so she knew how hard it could be at times. She held James and then buckled him in as I got L and B in their car seats and loaded my groceries. She told me how blessed I was and then went back to the store to do her shopping. There was no judgement about my inability to keep my cool while my kids fussed, let alone keep them happy in the first place. She didn't judge how closely they were spaced or ask if we were done having kids.
She just served me. Like Simon the Cyrene, she bore my cross for a moment.
These two women spent no more than five minutes with me but what they did really mattered. I felt alone and scared and overwhelmed by my immediate situation when those women intervened in my life.
I want to be more like these women. I want to be bold. I want to love and serve the people I encounter in ways that are real and meaningful. I want to take the opportunities that are before me to actually live out my love of Christ.
Most of my days I am surrounded by 3 little kids and so I may not be able to do something similar to what these women did. My hands are pretty full, so I might not be able to carry something for you. (But I might!) I actually have an idea of something I'd like to do - to be more intentional about - so that I can keep Christ always before me and reach out to people in need so they don't feel as overwhelmed or alone.
But first I'd love to hear from you! What are your thoughts? Do you have examples of people being bold and intentional in the way they have lived out their faith in their every day lives? How might God be calling you to love and serve Him in the people you encounter?