Wednesday, May 6, 2009

When No means Yes

When we make a meal for a family who is in need, not only does it help them, but it also gives us a tremendous sense of Gods love. There are times in people’s lives when we just don’t have the words to express how much we love them or how deep our sorrow is for them. But we can make them a dinner so that there is have one last thing a woman needs to deal with. I have cooked many a meal for families in many different situations, and I always know that this is exactly what God wants me to do.

So with that in mind just after Len died, the head of our church meals mission called and asked if and when we would like a meal delivered. Now she didn’t call once or twice she was very persistent and called everyday for almost a week. And for some crazy reason I kept saying “No thank you”. It got to the point where my husband got a little angry and said “why are you refusing help, you cook for other’s all the time”? I came up with stupid excuses like “What about our daughter’s allergies” and “there is food in the freezer”, and my most famous excuse “I don’t know”. Fortunately for my family there were some friends who know me just to well and made us meals anyway and I will be forever grateful to them.

Now that I can look back at that time with a more rational mindset, I can see that I had so much going on, my mind was in overdrive that I could not make any more decisions. Even something as simple as Yes, we would love a meal”. Because I new that simple “yes” would lead to more questions, like “what would we like”, when would we like it, and what is your address”? And it was too much work for me to make those decisions and was easier to say “no”.

I was given a book by a parent of a child I taught at church, the book is called Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love. Now to be honest at the time she gave me this book I did not open it, I barely read the card she wrote with it. I put them both on my bedside end table and there they sat for over a year. Then one night I decided to give it a read and opened it to a random page. What I read was as if the authors had been in my heart during that awful period. But the book went on to explain that by refusing the help being offered I was in essence denying those women the opportunity to share God’s love in the most practical way they knew how. We are all familiar with the words “it is better to give then receive”, I have used this phrase often while trying to guilt one of my kids into giving something to their sibling. I though, had never really taken the time to let that phrase really take hold of my heart. I try to imagine what my world would be like if I let my guard down and accepted God’s love from others.


  1. I often tell my funeral families to say "yes" when friends offer to help. They don't want to bother anyone, so we need to remind ourselves that it's okay to get support and help from friends and family members. No one should grieve alone and just to have friends and family present in our lives, well, it's priceless. Carolin - will you write to me offline, I want to pass something along privately that I can't post here - It's brief, promise. All my best, Pam

  2. It is a hard habit to break! The habit of being self sufficent. It has taken me a long time to allow others to help me. After Len's death and my heart attack I am now able to say, yes please I would like you to do that for me. Now with the broken ankle I am accually asking people for help. My prayer for you is that you will allow others the privilege of helping you every time they ask.