When I was in college, I spent the majority of my Friday nights in a nursing home.
There was a group of us who used this first night of the weekend to get off our Christian campus, out of the Christian bubble, and spread some love to those in the community. Some went downtown, some went to the hospital, but I usually chose to go to the nursing home.
Some of the elderly we visited greeted us with huge toothless smiles, while some didn’t even look up from their folded over slumber. We would usually ask if we could pray for them and then listen as they talked and talked as though they hadn’t talked to something animate in months. I can remember a particular woman, Miss Georgia, who would always ask me to read her some Scripture. Then SHE would pray and it was as though we had ALL died and gone to heaven, her prayers were so full of life and peace and joy.
One particular night at the nursing home I will never forget.
It was just another Friday night and my friend and I approached a wheelchair bound woman–probably in her nineties–with a rust orange and brown afghan covering her legs. We stopped, stooped over so we could be at eye level, and asked if there was anything we could pray for her about.
Her answer was quick, yet decisive.
…but could you PLUCK MY CHIN HAIRS OUT FOR ME?”
I looked at my friend. She looked at me. Both of us unsure of who had more expertise in this area. I finally picked up the tweezers that the woman confidently and preemptively held out at me, and proceeded to pluck out every last hair on her chinny chin chin.
There are plenty of things I could say to end this blog post (“You might want to consider laser hair removal treatments early in life”…or….”Don’t ever let yourself go. Use WHATEVER means possible to accomplish this”…), but I think there is a big lesson here for ministry wives or any women for that matter.
Let us not be afraid to ask for help when we need it.
If you’re like me, you mostly counteract this advice with Galatians 6:5. “For each one should carry their own load.”
While this of course is true and we should be responsible with the things God has given us, we can’t forget the other verse tucked in the same chapter. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Be bold enough to ask someone to help you with the children’s ministry instead of grumbling that you have to do it all by yourself. Say yes next time someone asks if they can bring something to the meal you’re hosting. If you are really reaching your limit, don’t be afraid to say no. Give others the opportunity to serve you when you need to be served. Be strong enough to admit weakness.
Ministry is a lot of give. Sometimes we have to receive. How can we receive if we don’t ask? “Ye have not because ye ask not,” I think is the version that I memorized as a child. So, let’s all take a page out of this woman’s book and communicate when we need help. And, as a closing thought…If life hands you tweezers, my friend, don’t be afraid to pluck.