Thursday, April 24, 2014

Your smile could change a life

It's been a long silence from me. I've been living life. Or rather trying to catch up with life. Or maybe it was just surviving. I'm not too sure, and it doesn't really matter. I'm back!

Winnie the Pooh is such a wise bear...
At our church, we have something at Easter called "Stations of the Cross". The story of Easter is divided into stations. Each station represents one part of the Easter story and is illustrated by a volunteer. I don't consider myself arty, but after much thought and hesitation, I accepted to do one.

Station 10, "Simon helps Jesus carry His cross", jumped out at me. It spoke to me because when I was at the very bottom of my post natal depression hole, and I couldn't carry my burden alone, a few very precious people helped me carry my cross.

My parents flew over from Switzerland (that's over 30 hours of travel!). He carried, burped and fed my newborn son.She cooked, cleaned and entertained my bewildered preschool daughter.

My husband was there and didn't abandon me when I was at my least attractive or appealing. I looked like crap, felt like crap, and behaved like crap. But he loved me. He stayed.

Friends brought over meals.

One friend visited and helped me realize I needed help.

Another friend came over when I was alone with the kids and having a panic attack. She listened, and she prayed. She stayed.

A few friends came to just be with me so I wasn't alone with the children.

A very dear couple did the housework before my parents arrived.

My midwife told me to stop breastfeeding (yes, she did, in New Zealand!) because it was destroying me and I felt like I needed her permission to stop.

My close friends accepted me through that time, even if they didn't fully understand.

And there are others.

Thank you. A thousand times THANK YOU. You know who you are.

You saved my life, one kind gesture at a time. You helped me carry my cross. It didn't weigh over 135kgs like Jesus' cross did. But it might as well have. And I know it wasn't easy for those who helped me. Helping someone you love is often very hard. It can be a hard step to take. It can be fairly easy to ignore. It can hurt to take it. You may want to turn back several times.

Simon helps Jesus carry His cross

Imagine Simon, stepping out of the crowd who was mocking and humiliating Jesus, to help Jesus carry an unbearably heavy cross in the burning heat, up a hill, and knowing that he may very well be crucified too for helping his friend. Yet he did it. Out of love.

How often, in our busy lives, do we ignore the prompting to help one another. We're too busy. It's too hard. It would take too long. What would people think? What would people say? What will I get out of it? It would hurt too much. I'd feel embarrassed. I just can't be bothered...

Let me encourage you to pick up that cross, to reach out and to help. One smile is sometimes all it takes.

You could be saving a day, saving a life.

Kia Kaha! Be strong!

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