School is very helpful. Kids learn stuff. They make friends. And their moms are suddenly free to do things without them.
I was dreading the end of school last spring and eager for the start of school this fall because I was going to have a lot of meetings that I couldn’t bring the kids to. I was going to have to ask for help.
Maybe there are people who find asking for help easy. I’m not one of them. I’m usually caught in the idea that I shouldn’t ask.
I was going to procrastinate about asking for help. I had to take it to prayer. I had to pray about whom to ask. After working up some courage, I did find one person who was eager, but then we hit a snag. On the day of my meeting, poor thing, she forgot all about it. She couldn’t do it anymore. And it was only a few hours before my appointment.
We were at church. I looked over at the tabernacle and asked the Lord, “What are you doing? I thought you were going to help me get someone to watch my kids. I need people today and all summer.” He said to my heart, “I’m answering your prayer.”
After 20 minutes of phone calls, trying to find someone to help in this emergency situation, I got six new people who couldn’t help right then, but would be willing throughout the summer. What a bounty! He was right; He was answering my prayer, even though it didn’t feel like it at the time. The person who forgot was actually a great blessing!
Armed with a new list of people who gave me permission to ask, you would think I would have been all set. But I still felt guilty. Wasn’t I imposing? Wasn’t I being a burden? Aren’t I supposed to get along without bothering people? There are so many things that went through my head.
This summer, the Lord told me what He thought while I was at Mass. I was watching as the deacon poured the Eucharistic hosts evenly into the ciboria. This didn’t take a long time, but I was filled with questions. Why does Jesus come as bread? Why does He become inanimate? Why does this God who made planets and mountains and wild animals need a deacon to pour Him into bowls? Why does He wait for the extraordinary minister to distribute Him to His people? Why does He wait for a priest before coming down into bread and wine? This God who doesn’t need any help asks for help.
I pondered all this, watching the Eucharistic Jesus fall into bowls at the implied command of the deacon. “You need His help,” I told Him. “You are submissive to Him. You are dependent on Him.”
Jesus said to my heart, “Be like me.”
What a treasure Jesus is. His humility. His dependence. His vulnerability. I keep wanting to do everything myself, to be independent, to seem self-sufficient. I believed the world’s message to be vulnerable is to seem like you don’t have it together. But I’m not being like Him at all. Jesus, who doesn’t need help, asks for help. And He’s even more lovable. It’s hard to love someone who doesn’t need you.
So, this summer, I became dependent on a number of helpful families who looked after my girls. It gave us a chance to get to know them better. It gave my girls happy playdates. It gave us better friends. The love of God was between us as He made me dependent on them. He showed me that perfection doesn’t lie in seeming self-sufficient. To need others is to be like Him.