On Superbowl Sunday 2012 my husband was traveling overseas. My boys and I (2 and 4 months at the time) had just entertained my parents for the weekend and they had left early that morning. I kept hearing a funny noise as I was laying on the couch watching my boys drive trains. I mostly ignored it until it dawned on me that the funny noise was coming from our own house. I went to investigate and found our hot water heater spewing water everywhere in the garage. Oh the instant panic! Without explanation I left my boys alone in our house as I went sprinting through the neighborhood trying to find someone to help me.
The second door I knocked on was answered. Sheer panic apparently on my face as I only got as far as “Josh is gone and my water heater is leaking…” Chris did not hesitate – In his “Sunday best” he took off sprinting back to my home to help me. His wife and daughter not far behind us. He quickly shut the water off and evaluated the situation. All the while his wife graciously said “Let us take your boys for you” leaving me to deal with the situation on hand.
I don’t know to this day what all plans they may have had that Superbowl Sunday, but regardless they spent the entire day helping me. Chris emptied my water heater. He took me shopping for a new one, helping me pick out the best one for my family. He and his son removed my old water heater, his wife and daughter spent the day playing with my boys, and Chris spent the afternoon installing our new water heater. It was fairly late into the evening before every thing was back in working order. Their entire day spent helping me.
I’ve never felt more grateful. I wasn’t even sure how to express my gratitude and a simple “thank you” seemed so insufficient. But, that is what I uttered as Chris told me he was done. “Thank you, I don’t know what I would have done without you and your family”. The reply stopped me in my tracks. “No, THANK YOU for coming to us for help and allowing us to be the neighbor Jesus calls us to be.”
He. Thanked. Me.
I think about that moment often. It was one of the first times I haven’t looked back and thought “I am weak” but rather, I think of how blessed I was to have a family so ready to help. From that moment I have found I am more willing to ask for help without a fear that others will see me as weak or a burden. And, I find myself wanting to be that kind of a friend and neighbor to other’s. Someone who is there when you call on them, ready to help with nothing but a loving heart, as we are called to be.