If we could sit across from one another, sipping our favourite beverages, the first thing I’d like to ask you is, “How are you?”
I would expect a curt answer at first. My prayer would be that as our drinks dwindled and our conversation deepened, we could share more honestly.
If you’d let me, I would be honoured to listen to your heart.
And I’d pray again, that you’d be willing to hear mine, without judgement or condemnation.
As I shared with you how I can become burdened in the everyday, how I worry about my loved ones, how lonely I am sometimes and how I just can’t meal plan, I’d so appreciate you earnestly encouraging me to take care.
We’d remember the importance of the analogy drawn from the flight attendant’s instruction, in case of emergency, of first putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
And we’d wonder out loud why we don’t do that as we should and then find ourselves depleted, worn-out and without joy.
We’d lament about how long it’s been since we’d laughed, read a book, tobogganed, danced in the kitchen with our precious ones, or dated our husbands.
Together, it would slowly dawn on us, because we both know the Word and are attuned to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, that we’ve tried to do it all on our own; in our own way and in our own strength…. Like we could.
We haven’t taken care.
Like a confirmation explosion, we’d recall, Jesus’ second commandment with the first being loving our God with all we got, found in Mark 12:31, “The second is this, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
With empty cups, our disclosing would end with each encouraging the other to take care and we’d set our next coffee date, knowing full well that such a friendship is part of loving oneself.