Hands and feet

Originally Appeared in : 9918-8/29/19

My friend Sabine recently asked if there was anything she could do to serve me. She had it on her heart to do something for me, and she just wasn’t sure what. Her husband travels for work and her week had free time, and she felt God asking her to do something for my family.


I had a moment of grace. When Sabine asked if she could cook dinner for us, instead of saying, “We are good but thanks for the offer.” I said “oh my goodness I would love it.” At that point, my mom was coming home from the hospital, and I was finding that my role in this situation was to be a support for my dad (who was doing an excellent job of being a support for my mom). 


So Sabine cooked dinner for my husband and me and our children and made enough food for my mom and dad. When she delivered dinner, I made two plates and walked them next door to my parents.


What Sabine didn’t know when she offered her help was that the very day she offered to provide dinner for us was my very first day of work at my new full-time job as a college professor. And I was nervous and also a little scared.


A few months ago I was hired to teach journalism, and public speaking at the university here in Augusta (I love it! It’s so fun.) and that Wednesday was my very first day. I was worried about starting a few weeks before my kids went back to school. The day Sabine brought us dinner, I was packing one son to move back to college, adjusting to teaching multiple college-level classes and also managing this teaching job while I still had three kids in summertime mode.


Her gift of a weekday dinner was beautiful. I was so grateful that whatever little tug God had placed on her heart, she was in tune with this leading and acted on it. She was the hands and feet of Jesus to me in the most stressful and trying week.


Fast forward a few days. I made it through the first week of full-time college-level teaching and moving my son back to college, and my mom was on the mend. Things felt more peaceful. Paul and I had a relaxing weekend away to celebrate our 25th anniversary, and I came home renewed.


We got home, and our son Augie left for his Senior Retreat, a rite of passage for the members of the senior class at our school. One of my dearest friends was going on the trip, and his wife is another of my dearest friends. I decided, after the group left, to stop over to her house and see how she was doing. The thought occurred out of the blue, and I told Paul, “I’ll be right back, I’m going to check on her.”


I walked in to see that my friend needed encouragement and also practical support. Do you know that end-of-August feeling? The one where your kids haven’t gone back to school, and your husband just left for a business trip for five days? If you haven’t been there, I know you can imagine if you try. 


That’s what I walked into, right in that moment of desperation. It was the same place I was just a few days before when Sabine asked about cooking dinner, and I had the good sense to say, “Yes!  Thank you I’ll take it.”


At that moment, as I walked into my friend’s house and was able to help in a tangible way, I knew I was in the right place at the right time. As we finished cleaning and tidying a bit later, my friend said to me, “Thank you. I asked Jesus to show me that he loved me, and you walked into my house.”


I was humbled and blown away. God had allowed me to be his hands and feet. I was in awe that I had the good sense to follow where he led me, amazed that I got to be a small part of his grand plan of love.


God wants to love us, and he wants to love others. He uses others, and he uses us. It’s a beautiful mystery to be a part of it all. Our job is to somehow be in touch to follow where he leads. Last week I got to be a part of both sides, and it reminded me of God’s great love for his people. He is here, waiting with open arms to show us he cares.


Rachel Balducci is a wife and mother of six. She and her husband Paul are members of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Augusta, GA. Her latest book, Make My Life Simple, is available on Amazon.

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