They were standing at the Panera counter placing a very complicated bagel order.
Anxious Alice desired a certain number of Blueberry bagels, several Cinnamon Crunch, a few Whole Grain, a couple Asiago Cheese, and a few other choices. Then she started to explain to the young girl behind the counter how she wanted them sorted and bagged. She was being very particular.
At the same time, her friend Helpful Hannah was trying to be…helpful. She was asking clarifying questions, interpreting Anxious Alice’s requests, offering suggestions, and trying to uncomplicate the order.
And then without warning, Anxious Alice let everyone know she had heard enough from Helpful Hannah.
She turned to her friend and in a very exasperated and firm tone, she said, Would you please stop talking. I can’t hear what the girl behind the counter is saying when you are talking to me. You are distracting me.
Helpful Hannah stopped talking.
Well. That little scenario had my name all over it. The little twinge in my heart told me so.
There may be times when I am Anxious Alice.
But most of the time? Just call me Helpful Hannah.
I want to Help. Fix. Make the pain go away. Change the situation.
Nothing wrong with that, until I get in the way.
Until I become noisy and confusing. Distracting.
Until I keep my friend from hearing from The One Who Knows Best.
Those of us who wear Helpful Hannah on our name badges need to remember that we can’t always make everything OK. Sometimes we need to stop talking, stop advising, stop fixing, and just walk along with our friend in prayerful silence.
And let God do His best work.
Yeah. I need to remember that.