She’s quick to assist anyone in need . . . . .
I had my evening planned right down to the minute. Dinner and dishes. PJ’s and pre-bedtime snuggles with the kids. Hugs and kisses. Then I’d slip into the study for a little writing. If I stayed on track, I’d manage to get it all done, just in time to catch up with my husband before we both went to bed.
Until my daughter had the audacity to deviate from my finely-tuned schedule. She needed me to spend some time with her. But . . . . but . . . . but . . . . I had a deadline to meet. I had to complete my blog post . . . about responding generously towards those with needs.
It took just about everything in me to keep the oh-so-ironic protests from crossing my lips. Somehow, though, I was able to take a deep breath, close the laptop, say no to the selfishness, and be a mama to my daughter.
Of course, I’m so glad I did. But in that moment, all I could think about was what I needed to get done . . . wanted to get done.
Henri Nouwen describes a conversation with a seasoned professor who passed along what has been a gem in my understanding of generosity. He said, “’You know . . . my whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered that my interruptions were my work.’”
Almost without exception, an interruption is a request for help. An expression of some sort of need. If I’m truly committed to a life of generosity, then I’ll welcome it, hopefully without being overly surprised, dismayed, or annoyed when it doesn’t align with my schedule.
Last night was a timely reminder: I would do well to stop viewing requests for help as intrusions on my own agenda and, instead, recognize them for what they are: blessed invitations to be the person I hope I can be . . . . someone who responds to needs with an unhesitating smile and ready hands.