Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The one about casseroles.

Since Addison was born my family life has been pretty crazy. First there was the initial shock and adjustment that comes from welcoming a baby with special needs. Shortly after we began to adjust to our new normal we were inducted into the community of families of children with complex medical concerns. Nothing can prepare you for this life. It's chaotic and unpredictable. And without the support of the amazing people surrounding us there is no way we would have made it these past two years.

The second most common question we hear, right after "How is Addison?", is "What can I do to help?",  followed quickly by, "Can I bring a meal?"  The meal question is typically directed at one of my grown siblings or myself by dear friends who don't want to burden my mom. I always hesitate before replying, "A meal would be lovely. How about next Tuesday?" 

I hesitate because I don't want to accept. Nagging at the back of my mind is a feeling of guilt. We don't need a meal. Realistically, my father or pretty much any of my siblings could pull together a meal, from the grocery store shelves to the dinner table, in less time than you would take you to calculate just how many times to multiply that recipe to feed a family of eleven. It doesn't make sense for someone else to invest their time and resources into something that I don't perceive as a help to us or Addison (the child doesn't even eat, for crying out loud!).

And then I'm reminded of this simple truth: it isn't all about us. Serving is every bit as much about the server as the served. Our friends love us. They love Addison. And sometimes prayer isn't enough. I speak as someone who has been on both sides. When people you love are hurting you need a means much more tangible than prayer to help. I'm not knocking prayer. There is nothing as helpful or effective as prayer. But I also know the joy from pouring yourself into creating something and the satisfaction of using your hands to serve a hurting friend and maybe, just maybe, make their troubles a little more bearable. Who am I to take that away from someone?

So I nod my head. "A casserole would be lovely. How about next Tuesday?"

Keep the prayers (and casseroles) coming.

1 comment:

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