How to show up for our friends in need.
“Reservations are made for you next Sunday at 5pm….”
I received this text from my dear friend, Patrick, several years ago.
It was during a time in my life that was extremely chaotic. Our book ON FIRE was about to be released. The publishing company had booked an exhausting tour of media and speaking events spanning several countries and several dozen states over several months. Stress was palpable, expenses were high, cashflow was tight, and things at home were challenging.
And through it all, Beth and I were managing the strains any couple face while also raising 10-, 8-, 6- and 4-year-old-children.
The text from my friend, Patrick, shared that he and his bride, Allison, were sending Beth and me out for a date night. The restaurant was booked. The meal was covered. The rides were arranged. Everything was taken care of.
He added if my excuse for not going was that I needed a babysitter, it wasn’t a valid one. He and his wife were coming to our house 30 minutes early and taking care of our kids. They wanted us to have some uninterrupted time together as a couple and they weren’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer.
My friends, that date night was seven years ago.
Now, I don’t remember the restaurant we visited. I can’t remember what we ate or how it tasted. And I don’t remember what dress Beth wore or what we spoke about that evening.
I just remember that during a super busy time in our lives and a stressful time in our marriage that we had a date to look forward to on our calendar. I remember several uninterrupted hours with Beth laughing, dreaming, talking and simply reconnecting while dining. And I remember how that date buoyed us during a time we needed some support.
In other words, I remember that during a frenzied season, a friend sensed a need, stepped forward, provided an incredible gift and made a mighty difference.
While Beth and I were deeply moved and extremely grateful, we weren’t the only ones. Each of our children were positively impacted, too. That evening they asked questions like, “Who were those people? Why did they do that for us? Why are they so nice? and When are they coming back so we can hang out again?”
My friends, so often we recognize a need in a family, a struggle in a friend, or a challenge in our community and wonder what we can even do to help.
While it’s easy to assume there is little we can do, be reminded of the power in simply showing up for others. Be aware there is no better way to reveal you care than by investing your time. And be certain there is no legitimate excuse we can make as to why we can’t offer our time a bit more frequently.
It turns out the things we do for ourselves soon fade. But the investment of time we make in others positively changes lives and remains long after we are gone. Just ask four kids who seven years later still remember two amazing babysitters.
Let’s make a difference for others. And let’s not take ‘no’ for an answer.
This is your day. Live Inspired!