Don’t wait to be asked…

A close friend emailed me a story that she just had to share. It’s a lovely example of noticing a friend in need and helping without being asked. It’s a reminder I  appreciated since I don’t always think to just suggest or offer something I know I  can do to help a friend.

Here’s the story: On Sunday night, I was checking out at Albertsons when I hear my friend L call my name.  She leaves what she is doing, walks up to me and asks me how I am doing.  I tell her that my husband is in the hospital as well as my dad.  It has been an eventful weekend.  She listens with a concerned heart and then we chit chat for two minutes and I leave the store.  An hour later I get a call from my friend, “I am bringing over dinner”, not, “What can I do for you”, or “when can I make you guys dinner”, straight to the point, “I will be there in seven minutes, it’s a pasta dish”.  I feel loved and relieved.  Why?  Because I was going to make stir fry and my kids hate stir fry and second, my kids LOVE my friend’s cooking. Suddenly, I  feel frantic, I feel that I have to pay her in return.  I look through my cupboards to see if I have a nice box of cookies or candy I can offer her in thanks.  I find the Costco size licorice and I am relieved.  This will be my offering.

She arrives at my house with a beautiful Ziti casserole and puts it on my kitchen counter.  She remarks, “Wow, your kitchen is clean, really clean”.  I tell her it is clean because earlier that day I had blown a gasket and severely yelled at my daughter because she didn’t clean the kitchen “the right way”.  I had obviously had a stressful weekend and I  took it out on her.  On the way to the hospital to visit my husband, I told my daughter it was time to create a chore list with clear explanations of what I wanted done and other expectations.  That afternoon, I created a chore chart on the computer with a fair distribution of work to all my kids.  I printed it and put it on my counter.

I tell my friend that my kitchen is clean because I have my chore list completed and visible.  She tells me that she has procrastinated in doing the same thing.  Her father is coming to town to take care of her kids while she will be away with her husband for a trip and her dad insists she make a chart.  For reasons, only known to moms, she just couldn’t sit down and do it.  Grabbing her hand, I tell her to follow me upstairs to my computer and sit down.  Right there on the spot, I pull up the chore template on the computer and we create a chart for her three teenage boys.

Point of the story:

  1. You don’t need to give a gift to someone immediately after he/she gives a gift to you or does a Mitzvah, WHY?
  2. Because we each have unique skills and abilities to help those in need at the right time and the right place.
  3. Most important, keep your eyes, ears, and heart open to opportunities to do a mitzvah and the magic will happen.

Thanks Kim for sharing your insight! It’s a wonderful reminder.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t wait to be asked…”

  1. Nice! I agree. Just do it comes to mind here. Though nice, it is not necessary to do the even payback thing. Often later you will find something you are good at and will become helpful for a friend. By the way, where might I find a copy of that chores list for teenage boys? 😉

  2. I totally pay it forward. I spent 15 months not working – I could not begin to “pay back” my friends for all the rides after my car was repo-d, nor the showers I took in their homes when I had no hot water or heat, nor the meals that someone paid for, etc. I buy people lunch, etc., share my bounty of good food, etc.

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