by Matt Duffy
I was out braving the cold & snow, while walking my dog a few weeks ago when a woman in heels, parked, got out of her vehicle, and started to unload her groceries. This woman was younger, probably in her 20s or 30s. She began to struggle, attempting to carry her groceries while concentrating on walking in her heels on the icy sidewalk. I approached her, introduced myself and my dog friend, and offered to help with her groceries.
She looked at me…
said “NO” vehemently, then started walking more quickly away from me.
I understand why she denied my assistance, I really do. She was either afraid that I might try and harm her, or was insulted that I thought she couldn’t manage on her own. Either way, I was disappointed that she wouldn’t allow me to help her. One of the best ways we can show love is through acts of service. God has given each of us unique gifts (if you don’t know yours, or feel like you don’t have one, PRAY about it), but God can’t use others in our lives if we are unwilling to let Him. In order to love, we have to let ourselves be loved, and it starts with letting God love us.
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Cor 16:13-14
I, much like that woman I encountered, will often refuse help; usually because I think I don’t need it, or because I’m too stubborn to admit otherwise. This includes my relationship with God. I try and handle things on my own without God. When in reality, all God wants is for me to let Him ‘carry the groceries’.
It’s not easy to hand things over and release control. I challenge you to spend a few minutes today to ponder these questions:
Are you somehow refusing God’s help in your life?
Is there something you are holding onto unnecessarily?
Lent is here. A time for struggle, testing, and purification. Hold nothing back this year, you might be surprised with what God does in your life, and more importantly, the lives of those who you come in contact with.
Matt Duffy is a parishioner at St. Joan of Arc, Indianapolis and works in Indy as an engineer. He is newly engaged and can’t wait to marry to his beloved this summer!