Yesterday's topic was to love everyone as our neighbor, meaning I cannot limit who I am willing to show God's love to.
Today's topic is to love someone as your neighbor, meaning that I cannot practically show God's love to all people, all the time. I can only act out God's love as the opportunity arises.
How fitting that this should be the topic for today!
Last night, I had one of the worst, most horrible nights since my husband left. Without going into too many details, I was trying to show loving support to one of my friends, and instead probably worried her more than I soothed her. Don't know if she reads this...but if you do (and you know who you are) I am still SO sorry about everything.
Again, without going into too many details...don't infer anything from people's Facebook statuses. That is a dangerous, tricky path to take. Trust me on this.
The worst part about it all was realizing that as bad as it was and as bad as I felt, it could have been a much worse situation. I scared the living daylights out of myself thinking about how bad the screw-up could have been, how it would have escalated throughout the unit, and how it would have eventually come back to bite me. (And probably my husband too-in case you didn't know this, a soldier is often held accountable for his wife's actions, both good and bad.)
I ended up confessing my blunder to my husband, and he said the wisest thing to me I have heard in a long time. Included in it was an example of my past and a whole backstory I won't bore you with right now, but it all led up to this message: You cannot be there to help every person. And a person who needs help will not want every person there to help them.
He basically said exactly what the book talked about. We are able to show God's love within the boundaries of an opportunity. It will not be possible for me to help every person who needs it. And most of the time, people in need do not want to be bombarded by helpers--it is a very frustrating, overwhelming situation to have a hundred people trying to help you all at once.
I mentioned in my post yesterday that my neighbors are always willing and ready to help. But they don't come knocking on my door asking "so do you need any help today?" They wait for me to knock on theirs.
Right now, in this deployment, I am sensing that a lot of my friends and fellow Bulldog spouses are feeling helpless, and it is my natural reaction to jump up and volunteer my help. I realized today through my husband's voice of reason and the reinforcement of the book that I cannot jump up before I am called on. I love all of these families dearly, and should the opportunity arise, then I will gladly do what I can to act out that love. But until then, I will wait...
...and while I wait, I will probably avoid responding to other people's Facebook statuses!