Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday - Link Up

Today I am thankful for help and assistance. I am also thankful for being able to accept it.

For some people asking for help comes easy. It's just what you do. You have a need, you seek out help. Simple. Well, I have been learning how to ask for help over the years and have gotten better at accepting assistance. Because, really, that's my issue: the acceptance part.

The other evening after leaving a simple gathering with a dear friend my car's tired blew out. Not necessarily a big deal--I know how to change a tire. But it was at night and I was on a lonely back road. I'd decided to take that way as opposed to a well lite main artery home because I enjoy the quietness of it. I immediately started praying. I knew I had to get to a safe place before stopping. But boy did it seem like f  o  r  e  v  e  r.  I knew where a gas station was but when you have a flat everything is just that much farther. I was thankful to look up and see a gas station located in a spot I didn't remember and quickly, or as quickly as I could, drove to it.

I was hoping that the tire would only be out of air and so I parked by the air/vacuum spaces. Upon getting out and looking at it, it was completely torn up!!! So, after calling my husband to let him know what happened and where I was, I got the spare out and jack and proceeded to set things up to get it changed. An elderly man, on a cane, came over to me and offered me help. He said, "You need help with that sweetie?" And I told him, "I got it." He didn't let my answer deter him. He said he'd help me. He laid my spare on its side, laid his cane down, sat down on the spare and proceeded to take my blown tire off. Within a minute two other younger men came over to assist him. My jack wasn't working so well and one of them hollered over to a car where yet another young man got out and gave us his jack. I stood there, watching them handle things for me. They all laughed and talked to each other about the best way to do it or what one would do instead of what the another was doing. Within 10 minutes, the torn tire was removed and the spare tire put on. A total of seven men had assisted me with it in some way shape or form.

I thanked each of them several times. One of the elders said he was on his way home and something told him to come to the gas station to pick something up. He said he couldn't remember what that was but this must have been it. We both smiled. The older man, who first offered his help, said this is just what MLK said, "We gotta stick together." The younger man, who's known as 'Rooster' in that neighborhood, thanked me for allowing him to help me and said he'd see me around.

I left feeling very grateful and thankful, of course. Seeing just how all of the 'wrong' things came together in just the right way.

This simple act of accepting help was powerful. Yes, it benefited me. But not only that, I allowed another the opportunity to help and I accepted that help instead of saying no and doing it myself.

This morning as I awoke and took my quiet time, I thought about how last evening would have typically played out and how one act of needing to be back home earlier than usual had actually saved me much stress and kept me from being in an unwanted situation. I remembered what the fourth man, who had helped me, had said to the fifth man who commented on how bad the tire was torn up. He said, "She had to get to this station. She had to get to a safe place."

Here's what so interesting about his comment. Many people who live in the area would not have considered this spot to be a safe place, at least not at night. It's in a predominately black neighborhood, although the dominate culture is seeking desperately to gentrify the area, and the few of them I saw had scared looks on their faces as they quickly pumped their gas and left. But I felt safe there surrounded by my brothers and uncles.

I tell my children often that we need not be afraid of people who look like us for they are the ones who will help us. They are the ones who will look out for us and care for us. And it's true. I'm thankful it's true!

What gives you reason to be thankful today? I'm sure there is someone or something. If you'd like to join me on this weekly practice click here, add the above image to your page and post something on Thursdays. I'd love to have you.

Be well.

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