I learned it first in farming.
Farmers and families coming together when the fields were ready for harvest and the rain was coming tomorrow as sure as the sun comes up. Trucks and combines moving across dusty gravel roads in single file and descending on someone’s farm to help them get their crop in. The John Deeres and Massey Fergusons caravanning to the next farm with ears tuned in to weather reports while turning on lights to break through the dusk, and men and women in overalls praying for just a couple more hours.
People came together to help.
A diagnosis. Life-changing illness. Neighbors rally and plan the food deliveries. Helping shifts are scheduled. The wide arms of love circle the family who is trying to figure out what just happened. It’s as if angel wings carry them forward…in the form of hot dishes, paid bills, house cleaners, and broad shoulders.
The need shows up. And then the people show up. Usually without an invitation.
This is good.
People love to help. We love to feel needed.
We show up. We silently do what we can to let friends know we care.
And we are grateful for the opportunity to meet the need. To be there.
Knowing that, why is it so hard for us to offer the privilege of helping to others?
Why do we keep our friends and family from meeting our needs…when they want to help?
Why don’t we ask?
Maybe it’s pride. Maybe it’s Scandinavian or German self-sufficiency.
Regardless, maybe it’s time to change that up a bit.
The Bible tells us over and over and over again to love and help and serve our neighbor.
And sometimes? We are the neighbor.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10)
Two are better than one because they have good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)
We are so good at giving.
But not so good at asking.
Let’s be brave enough to have the courage and vulnerability to stand up and say, I need a little community of one…or two.
What John Deere would you like to rumble onto your driveway this week?
Maybe it’s someone to help you get that home project done.
Maybe it’s someone to run some errands so you can meet a deadline.
Maybe it’s someone to drive you to the store.
Maybe it’s someone who will just have coffee with you and let you cry.
Maybe it’s someone to help you strip the wallpaper.
Maybe it’s someone to pray you through a crisis.
Maybe it’s someone to bring supper.
Big deal or not so big deal.
I believe that every one of us has a place we could use a little help.
I want to be a John Deere in people’s lives.
And I am going to be brave and ask for a John Deere in mine.