"Is there anything I can do for you?"
What a powerful, simple question. And it is usually followed by a quick, automatic reply.
"Oh, I'm fine."
Which of course is often just not true.
The whole dynamic of "doing and receiving" seems to be a dance we stumble through. But I am so grateful that in our community life we continue to learn and grow. When I make hospital visits and find other Grace folk already in the room, I see the ways we work "to do" for others. When I'm visited someone recovering at home, and another Grace meal
arrives--prepared with love and delight, and candles, napkins and
dessert!--I just laugh with my own delight. And as I read our prayer requests, I'm touched by the risk of faith that we share.
"What can I do for you?"
"OK, I will." And we do.
We also, as a community, have often been able to help each other in some very material ways. In recent months, using our pastoral fund, I have been able to repair broken cars, help with rent, pay a pre-school tuition, buy some prescription meds, help with student travel. It's amazing, really, how this simple process works. People ask, we give. I am grateful for the generous donations to our fund--known as the Phinney Fund, to honor Jim Phinney's gift and passion for pastoral care. And, yes, the fund is in need of re-building. Little gifts help enormously. Really. Contributions can be directed to Grace, but specified for the Pastoral Fund.
"Is there anything we can do for each other?"
Yes. And for lots of others, too.