“…You will surely wear yourself out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.” Exodus 18:18
The unpleasant part of snow is the act of shoveling it. And with the twelve inches we received, there was a lot to clear. I didn’t realize just how much until I was knee deep in it with my lone shovel. My neighbors on both sides were out working as well. One even had a snow plow but only cleared his driveway and the space in front of their house.
Looking at the couples working together made me so blue that I started crying. It was another reminder for me that my husband was dead. I turned up my Ipod and my resolve and tried to focus on finishing the daunting task of clearing our lengthy driveway. My back and legs were starting to ache from heaving the heavy snow.
I had a ways to go when my neighbor from across the cul de sac came over, shovel in hand, and starting helping. Much of the time we worked alongside one another in silence as day turned to dusk. He encouraged me to go on in, but I couldn’t leave him to do my job alone. He had already worked a full day, shoveled his own drive, and then came to help with ours–three times the size of his. I felt:
- Gratitude for his kindness
- Sadness that my husband couldn’t shovel with me
- Blessed that God put it on his heart to do so
- Embarrassment for being a damsel in distress
I also wondered how I could pay him back? I hate the feeling of “owing” someone. Thank you just seems so…well, not enough. But then I thought about a few of the neighborly exchanges we’ve had over the years. During the fall we would always send one of the boys over to help him in the yard. I had also given his toddlers sons a barely used expensive train table. And when his teenage son often lost his key, we always welcomed him to sit at our house until someone came home.
So maybe he was just paying it forward.
I know I need to learn how to accept help and be okay with it. Could this be why God keeps putting me in predicaments where I need assistance from others in order for me to get over myself?
Still, I think I’ll make cookies for him and his family to show my appreciation…