Friday, June 5, 2009

Across The Street


Its symbolized by a stack of paperwork on the kitchen table that never moves.
A few file folders, a bunch of bills, some school registration forms and maybe a book or two. Lots of Post-Its.

Its often a joke around my parents house – that stack of paper.
If my mom is reading this right now, she’s smiling I’ll bet.

But I want to tell you what it represents.

The other day, I was at my parents house picking up my daughter, and I saw the stack. (It seemed to be growing larger.) Not all of the paperwork is urgent… its just important enough not to toss. It basically represents a long to-do list.

Yet, the other day when I noticed it again, neither my mom nor my step-dad was inside. No one was at the kitchen table working on the stack.

Instead, my step-dad was across the street, helping his neighbor move some furniture. My mom was at the same house; weeding.

But let me step back a moment.

I loved the neighborhood I grew up in. My parents house was at the top of a cul-de-sac, perfect for riding bikes with the neighborhood kids.

We knew our neighbors names. Their kids were my best friends growing up. Sometimes we would have Christmas parties together and put on a little talent show. I enjoyed the neighborhood.

Except for one house.

As a little girl, I was afraid of the man who lived there, because one time I hit a baseball into his garage and he said "Its mine now!" and slammed the door. He and his wife didn’t have small children, so I assumed he didn’t like any children. Therefore, it was the one house I skipped when I sold Girl Scout cookies.

I remember my step-dad telling me a story that years ago, his car wouldn’t start and he desperately needed a ride to the airport. He began knocking on neighbors doors, seeing if anyone was home. When he got to that house, and the man answered, my step-dad humbly asked for a ride. The answer was no, and the door was shut.

Even after all these years, its the one house I ignore when I drive into my parents driveway to visit.

A month ago, my mom called me and sounded serious. She informed me that the man who lived there had just passed away suddenly. He left behind his wife, who was on vacation when he passed.

Can you imagine being that woman? I pictured her, on an airplane, knowing when it landed at Sea-Tac that she’d be coming home to an empty house. It broke all of our hearts – so my parents decided to do something about it.

I have watched my parents, over the course of the past month, carry over food, mow her lawn, weed her garden, do her laundry, fix her lightbulbs, feed her cats, and everything else under the sun. What’s more is that they spend time with her. Sometimes at night, when the sun is going down, my parents go over just to watch television with her, so she's not alone. And I know for a fact that its not their choice of programming. They simply sit with her on the couch, and laugh with her at the comedy on television, so that shes not by herself.

So, what does this have to do with the stack of paperwork?

It would be easy for my parents to be too “busy” to do any of these things. They both work, they take care of my daughter in the afternoon when I’m on-air, and they have active lives. Its not like they are sitting around each day looking for something extra to do. Their plate is full. And the stack of papers proves it. Plenty of bills to pay, plenty of decisions to make, plenty of things to get done for the next day.

Yet they prioritize. The paperwork can wait another day.

They choose to walk across the street.

10 comments:

Nancy Oren Wilson said...

Oh Sarah, how this moved me. Thank you for this insight into an area that we should all be paying close attention to. You see, your parents are truly being the hands, the feet, and the arms of Christ, aren't they?

AK said...

Thanks Sara, I got those H.S. goose bump chills. :)

Brittney said...

I agree with Nancy's comment. What an awesome, shining example of God's love your parents are. How blessed you are to be their daughter...The woman they care for will be in my daily prayers.

The Mama said...

Tears Flowing..
Can't say much more than Thank You for this..
Moments where we show Jesus' love, instead of preach it.. <3 it.. These are the moments that echo- "Well done good and faithful servant"

Anonymous said...

Sarah, this is a beautifully written post...and I SO appreciate you sharing it with us.

God bless you and your parents for the work you do on His behalf!

Amy Himple

Dan and Barb said...

Sarah, Thank you for sharing that story! What a wonderful reminder of what it is we are here for. Paying bills and filling out paperwork is important, but it's not the MOST important. We each need to be open to God's leading. How many times have I said, "not today,Lord, I have too much to do"? So many blessings missed out on. But not your parents!!!

rachaelsway said...

Sarah it is amazing how God uses your stories to speak to me. I try to teach my kids that no matter what it is what God calls us to do. Walk arcoss the street even thought we don't want to pass on his words even if it may not be spoken it is felt through our actins. God bless your parents and your family!

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

My parents have a similar stack of papers. I think what they are doing is wonderful. I wish more people were like them.

Megan said...

What great examples your parents are! Thanks for sharing! =)

Barbara said...
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