Why go out of your way to help?

This early spring weather has taken us by surprise and put me in a tizzy. All of a sudden everyone’s got major yard work to do. So why did two friends from Greenwood, IN, give up an entire spring-cleaning weekend to help me prune, clean and paint? They were so gracious with their time and labor, they left me scratching my head. And a bit choked up at their generosity.

Granted, these lovely people are long-time friends. They join a list of family members who have given their time to help me settle in to my new digs.

Friends Garnet and David donated their weekend to paint my garage and prune my overgrown yard. Why?They have a home and a special event venue with beautiful outdoor acreage. So I asked them ...

But Garnet and David own a home and a special event venue with beautiful outdoor acreage. So I asked them:

“Why give up a perfectly good spring weekend to work at someone else’s house, especially when you’ve got a ton of your own house projects to do?”

“I’ve been struggling with how to put into words something that is so much a matter of the heart,” Garnet wrote in an email. “Then I reread your question … 

1. “Frankly: You are not just “someone” – you are family.

2. “Spiritually: Giving is something God intends for us to do; it is an act of love.

3. “Practically: We wanted to spend time with you and … shorten your ‘to do’ list at the same time.  Six hands are better than two.

4. “Emotionally: We are thrilled to have you ‘back home again in Indiana’ and wanted to welcome you in a special way; our version of a house warming gift.

5. “Finally – it feels good to work hard and put my head down on the pillow at night knowing I used the life and gifts God gave me … and to know the labor of love will bring something lovely to your life.  I hope every bloom reminds you how much we care … ”

David wrote: “Frankly , when there’s a need I’m usually the one who says, ‘How can we help?’ so I had to REALLY think about what motivates me.

“For me, this is what friends do … I don’t expect anything in return. When you care deeply for a person, you are there to support them no matter what … It’s a natural feeling. You listen, take an interest in their lives and help when they need you … sometimes when they don’t realize they need you. Simply, it’s who I am and what I do for someone I care for.”

And in case you’re thinking about helping someone else but don’t feel you have the time or may not be up to it emotionally, here’s another reason: if you feel down, helping someone else is a B12 shot to the psyche. It’s hard to feel blue when you put someone else’s needs first.

Do you help people outside your home? How does it make you feel?

NOTE: Thank you again to all those who have helped, are helping me physically, emotionally and spiritually with my move to Indiana.



3 responses to “Why go out of your way to help?

  1. William Mattiace

    I want to help!

  2. Garnet Vaughan

    Thank you for the pen to paper accounting of a special “roll up your sleeves” weekend visit. Reading it is like living it again and that’s a blessing. Thanks for letting us partner with you in this project AND for the comfy bed and home made dinners to feed us … body and soul. Cute photo, too. I love my guy with a little paint spatter of his cheek and … oh the allure of eau de latex.

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