A thought popped into my head this morning. A friend of ours has been in the hospital for several weeks and in that moment, I decided to go visit her. Later in the day, I got in my car and traveled the whole 10 minutes to where she is recovering from several surgeries.
Now I did say that she had been in that hospital for over a month (to be closer to the truth). And did I say that I drove a mere ten minutes to get there?
I'd say that a question should rise up in your mind: What took you so long??? Why has this friend been in the hospital for such a long time and you haven't gone to see her?
The truth is, it is hard for me. I have difficulty calling someone on the phone, even if they have been on my mind all day or all week. It is hard for me to stop in and visit someone if I'm driving through their neighborhood. There is an elderly relative I need to visit in the nursing home, but I just don't seem to get out the door.
Why it feels like an effort is not clear to me. But I think this shyness or lack of confidence or unwillingness to take the time is a part of some of my "past-thinking" and I want it to change it! It seems like I never run out of areas to "work"on in my determination to be a whole, healthy person so I'm going after it!
Being a better listener when I feel the Spirit's "suggestion" that I call, visit or invite someone is part of my strategy. God, who knows all my quirks, is aware of my hesitancy and is inviting me to grow in an area that has been difficult for me. To pay attention to a thought or feeling is part of being in tune with my own heart and of listening to God's whispers so I can respond and not hide.
The funny thing is, I have found that once I make the call or open the door for a visit, all hesitancy is gone and I enter fully into the joy of the moments of conversation, laughter and story telling.
I'm thankful I visited our friend today with a piece of my homemade blueberry cake in hand. Hospital food has got to be getting very old by now.
And perhaps this is what Jesus meant in Matthew 25 when he said, "I was sick and you stopped to visit" Imagine that! Listening to the Spirit's nudges to let go of my initial shyness or busyness and get moving, sure has lovely benefits!