Monday, May 08, 2006

loving god and neighbor

Somedays, it's hard to love neighbors. Especially when they don't do the things I think they should.

Last week, a man stopped by the church, asking for help. He'd broken his ankle, and wanted a bicycle so he could get around, with his dog. This seemed like a pretty lame attempt at fixing what seemed to me to be much bigger problems. The more I talked to him, the more true this seemed.

So, I tried to just focus on being love: offering hospitality and concern. (I didn't get him the bicycle.) I was delighted by how church folks pitched in and offered care--he wasn't an easy person to embrace.

But, as often seems to be the case, it didn't end well: we hit the limit of what we could offer and it didn't meet what he believed he needed, and things were less than loving for a moment. And he left.

I often feel this: tension because I'm not willing to give what another person in need believes they need.

So it was a great joy today to have a man stop by whose family the church was able to help almost 4 years ago. He just wanted us to know that our help really was helpful to them, that he's worked his way up in a company into management, and now wants to share help with the church or someone else who might be in need.

We didn't really have much to offer: a week's lodging in a cheap hotel for the family, as I recall.

Then, as last week, it felt like I only have this little, small piece to offer to people with giant, gaping need. And, in bad moments, like it's not even worth bothering, 'cause what I have certainly won't fill their vast holes.

But, then, I get a reminder that there is possibility in these small things, and that, by the grace of God, somehow they can be a part of expanding in wondrous ways.

1 comment:

David said...

What an inspiration to others that the major problem you have on your mind is not being able to help people more than you already do. Especially for someone who is helping people as a full-time job. Kudos, Molly.

Oh, and welcome to blogger!