Saturday is Laundry Day
While trying to carry two full laundry baskets up the stairs, one on top of the other, I slipped on a sock that had fallen out of a basket.
I let out a scream as I fell to the floor, whacked my chin on the bottom basket and skinned my knee on the stairs. I laid there for a bit and then sat up, with a damaged ego, a slightly bleeding chin and bruised knee, looking at all the clean clothes now touching the not-clean floor. (I wouldn’t say dirty… but not clean).
As I took in everything that had transpired, I started to get mad and maybe a little bit sad. It felt like all the work that I had done to get these shirts, undies, pants and pajamas clean was ruined.
My husband, having heard my scream came running. He helped me off the floor. He helped me put the clothes back in the baskets. He carried both baskets (separately) to the bedroom for folding. He helped me clean up my wounds. And then, patiently, he said, “Why didn’t you ask me to help you?” My first inclination was to respond with anger. But instead I said, “I don’t know. I just thought that I could do it myself.” As we folded the clothes, I calmed down and realized how much easier and more enjoyable, this entire day of laundry would have been if I had just asked for help. I felt less irritated as we worked together. I felt less sad as we talked. I felt happier and definitely… grateful.
At the time, this little bit of an experience didn’t seem to be a grand gesture from God. Just another human day of life on earth. But God kept placing it in front of me. Time and again, I would remember all the grumbling and grunting that I’d done while I worked to clean the clothes and get it up the stairs. And then, I would remember the laughing and contentment I felt when my husband and I were working on the laundry… together. Having help made a difference; not just in how fast it got done but also how I felt while it was getting done! Months after my fall, I came upon Isaiah 41:10. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” I finally understood why my thoughts kept going back to that day. Help.
It felt like a miracle to me, because it seemed like God was patiently asking me the same question that my hubby had, “Why didn’t you ask me to help you?” He wanted me to see that I can’t and shouldn’t try to do all things on my own. He needed me to recognize that asking for help was a good and soothing thing. It didn’t matter if it was asking my husband to help with the laundry or if I cried out to God, begging for help with the load that I carried.
I still struggle with asking for help. But now, I remember the relief of help. I feel the scars from when I didn’t try to find help. Because God wouldn’t leave me alone or leave me where I was, he showed me that help was near. I try to delight in it. No more grumbling in frustration or grunting under too heavy a load. Help is near, even when there is no one else around. And I’m so grateful.
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