By Katie Helmreich
The children slaved away in the glaring sun, blasted by cruel winds, starving and dying of thirst. What had they done in their short lives to have deserved such treatment from their mother? They trudged on, back and forth, fetch and carry… would it ever end?
Despair was closing in on them, when all of the sudden, the neighbor kids rounded the corner of the shed at a run. “Want help?” The afternoon was transformed! Suddenly everything was just right. The sun was warm, the fall breeze crisp, and laughter filled the garden.
The boys ran down each row, picking as many ears of corn as they could carry, racing to dump them in the trailer before looping back for more. They shouted across the popcorn plot to each other about “leveling up” and “power boosts” and the stalks were picked clean in no time!
The girls and I peeled the husks back from each pearly ear. I just listened as they chatted and laughed about school, Minecraft, brothers, parents, forts, and YouTube videos. I marveled at what a difference a friend makes. The kids were sure they were going to die twenty minutes earlier, and now they were enjoying a full fledged popcorn picking party!
It’s good to work together. Isn’t it? Sure, many hands make light work, but often even just having a friend there to chat with is a blessing!
Helping one another builds relationships! “Encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
There are tasks we’re capable of doing, and obviously plenty of other things we’re truly not qualified to do. But no matter what, we can lift each other up. We can simply share the time with other people, laughing and learning together. We can act as gopher (or is it go-for?), refill a water glass, bandage up scrapes, or tidy the work space.
Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, … We urge you, brothers, to do this more and more.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10
I tend to avoid asking for help unless I’m really out of my depth. Lately, though, I’m beginning to realize that helping and being helped has benefits far beyond getting the job done. Tasks that make us too busy to connect with someone might actually BE the way we could connect with them!
I’m trying to think of asking for help more as an invitation: “I’d really like to spend some time with you and I’d love to hear more about your day! Would you come fold laundry with me for a few minutes while we talk?”
I’m working on taking up offers for help even when I don’t think I actually need it. “Is there anything I can do to help?” is an invitation to connect and to let someone share their time and effort with me! What a blessing! Not something to be dismissed lightly.
Helping and being helped. Friends, families, and neighbors reaching out to one another. Fellowship isn’t just for leisure time. Relationships are built one project at a time, as we see each other’s needs and admit our own.
This weekend we’ll have a whole crew over to dig out a bunch of clay. It’s horribly heavy work and excruciatingly boring. But with friends and family over, it will actually be a lot of fun! (Well, maybe not a lot of fun, but it’s always good to be together.) It’ll be a party! And it’ll be a shared memory for the rest of our lives.
What do you have going on right now? Is there a task or project you can invite someone in to help with? Who around you might need an extra set of hands? Who can you encourage? How has God blessed you through the help of your brothers and sisters in Christ?
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-4