Listen and follow through when God is calling you to love those around you.
Two years ago, a former colleague of mine announced she was pregnant with her first baby. I have a distinct recollection of a long lunch we spent after my maternity leave where she asked me about motherhood, the working-mom balance, and everything in between. Fast forward, I have left that company, and she is close to her due date. Here is how my internal dialogue played out:
“Oh, she’s due in about 3 weeks! I should maybe offer to pray for her and the baby, drop off a post-partum kit, or maybe start her a Meal Train… no, she’s pretty detailed, and I’m sure she has everything she needs. Plus, she’s got a community, right? She doesn’t need my help, she’s got people around her who will help her.”
Do you see what happened inside my head? I made the assumption that someone else was going to step in the gap and care for a first-time mom… I assumed she had what she needed.
Until the Holy Spirit urged me not to assume. I pushed past the lie that I wasn’t helpful and reached out. I offered all of the above, never forcing myself on her. She hadn’t bought post-partum supplies, so I put together a kit of helpful things and dropped it at her door. I told her that I would be praying for labor and delivery, and she could keep me updated as she so desired.
As it turns out, she had a challenging induction, a lot of anxiety, and really needed someone she could reach out to specifically to be praying for the labor and delivery. I expected her older sisters and family would be able to surround and support her – only to find out that her family was unable to step in. I cared for her in a small way, in the midst of a hard, new season.
It’s an easy lie to believe that we don’t need each other. It’s easy to be convinced that “they’ve got someone who will offer”, who will stand in the gap, who will do the inviting. In fact, I think the enemy wants to convince us of that – that we are better off alone. That we don’t need each other, and that vulnerability and eagerness are a sign of weakness.
Jesus tells us in John’s gospel –
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34
How do I feel loved by my friends? By feeling included in their lives, being invited into their story, being cared for and seen. The same way our Father loves us, invites us, sees us, and cares for us.
Jesus never assumed someone else would help. He stopped to help Bartimaeus, the blind beggar regain his sight (Mark 10:46-52). He stopped to help the woman with 12 years of bleeding be healed (Luke 8:42–48).
I think if we’re honest, the Parable of the Good Samaritan if written in our day, would include that perhaps the Priest or Levite assumed someone else was going to help.
So, let’s stop assuming. Show one another true, Christ-like hospitality. Let’s banish the lie that “someone else will do it.” Let’s take the vulnerable step. Because when we walk in step with Christ, we can do things that feel impossible:
When we feel uninvited, we can invite.
When we feel unseen, we can see.
When we feel left out, we can include.
Let’s be the ones who aren’t deceived by the billboards of social media that claim that the people around us have it all figured out, and take the eager step towards vulnerable, life-giving friendships with one another. Let’s do as the writer of Romans puts it, “stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another” Romans 10:24-25
Tory Vore is a writer, communicator, and small group leader with a passion for discipleship and the local church. She writes about motherhood, womanhood, and friendship, with God and others. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband James and two children. You can read more of her occasional writing at toryvore.com.