I was in 6th grade, traveling through our small town in our big gray Oldsmobile with my mom and sister. The rain was falling from the sky. I was warm and cozy on the soft, gray seats. An elderly woman walked on the sidewalk holding her purse tightly to her. She had no umbrella, her hair was covered neatly with a plastic hood tied beneath her chin. I don't think I would even have noticed her if my mom had not started slowing the car.
"What are you doing?" I asked in my obnoxious, know-it-all voice. "Why are you stopping?" "We don't even know her." I'm sure I had somewhere very important to be. "I'm going to see if she needs a ride," my mom responded. I was annoyed. Embarrassed. What if someone would see?
The woman got in our car, and my mother drove her just a few blocks to where she was headed. Afterward, not a word was said, and I grudgingly realized how selfish my heart had been.
In many ways, I am still a lot like that 6th grade girl. I like to sit on the sidelines. It's simple and easy to be a spectator there. To watch the action, but not have to experience the dirt, fatigue, and risk of playing the game.
It's easier to just drive by the woman in the rain.
I found myself reflecting on this memory when I found out that one of my favorite bloggers, Edie from Life in Grace, had experienced a personal tragedy just before Christmas. Edie doesn't know me. I have never posted a comment on her blog. I like sit on the sidelines, remember? But through her words and photos Edie has made such an impact on my life.
I found a kindred spirit in her that made me hold my breath in anticipation of new words of wisdom and creative inspiration each time I checked her blog. I relate to Edie because she is such a paradox, like myself. She is an intellectual who gave up her medical practice to raise and homeschool her two youngest children. She devours Harry Potter and C.S. Lewis side-by-side. She creates a home filled with whimsy, color, unique style, and inspires me to do the same. She creates with her hands and nurtures with her heart. She cooks (my favorite fudge ever), she sews (these gifts now grace the kitchens of my friends and family), and she teaches Biblical truth and shares her own trials and heartaches in a way that is refreshingly honest and sincere. She even tempted me to paint my kitchen cabinets turquoise and wear mismatched clothes. Almost.
So when another blogger invited Edie's readers to reach out to her via her blog, my natural reaction was to sit on the sidelines. However, this is a new year, and I am getting into the game. Christ commands us to love God and to love others. These are the greatest commandments. I believe that even applies to the blogosphere! The fire may have destroyed her beautiful home, but the Holy Spirit's fire burns brighter still in her heart. My prayer are with you and your family, Edie.
How about you? Have you been sitting on the sidelines instead of reaching out to someone who could use your support and encouragement? Why not take a step toward them today and see what happens. You just might be surprised at the result.