This week, we delve deeper into the profound way we experience the presence of God in our closest relationships with the living beings that surround us. While this might seem like a familiar one, it unfolds into a uniquely touching story—one that revolves around a grandchild finding her voice. Through this narrative, we learn valuable lessons about our connection to God, the art of prayer, and effective communication with our loved ones.
Allow me to share a story that serves as an inspiring testament to the importance of seeking help bravely and offering it with kindness. It reminds us of our true essence, one that predates the materialistic world’s erosion of our communities—a reflection of the divine image within us all. Let us join hands and say, “Help us. Help each other.”
Mark Koenig imparts to us this mysterious God-talk, underscoring the primal nature gifted to us by God—the ability to ask for help and extend a helping hand.
Granddaughter Lucy continues to inspire and pass on new knowledge. As she grows and develops, honing skills, pursuing new interests, increasing her vocabulary, Lucy always teaches me something. Often, she imparts multiple lessons.
During my recent visit as she and her parents began their move to Albuquerque, the insight that stood out concerned her use of the words, “help” and “me.” Lucy uses those words in a unique way, and she does so often.
We frequently combine “help” and “me” to create a sentence. “Help me.” Come to my aid. Provide me with assistance.
Lucy takes those two words and creates a paragraph. A two-sentence paragraph. One word in each sentence. And in an order we might not expect given what she means. But a paragraph nonetheless.
In Lucy’s usage, the words become an offer that she will extend help to you. Or perhaps they become a statement of fact that she will help you. In some cases they rise to the level of a demand that you allow her to help.
“Help. Me.” And Lucy wants you to pick her up so she can select your coffee cup and push the buttons on the coffee maker.
“Help. Me.” And Lucy staggers toward you carrying your shoes which she will help you put on so you can go outside together.
“Help. Me.” And Lucy starts to pull the dishes out of the dishwasher at a rapid rate and you struggle to keep up and put them away.
“Help. Me.” And Lucy climbs up beside you to pour, to mix, to dump, to stir as she helps you cook. She stays away from the stove when it is “hot.” But most everything else she might do to create a meal; she tries to do.
Same words. Different meanings depending on if they construct a sentence to ask for help or a paragraph to offer help.
Will Lucy remember this stage in her life? Will her first paragraph last?
Hard to say. It may. It may not. She may go through phases where she wants to help and where she does not want to help. What seems important is the beauty and the wonder of the now and the memories we make and the photos we take.
Whatever may come next, I know I will ponder what Lucy has taught me about the difference between a sentence and a paragraph.
I know I will need to say, “Help me.”
I hope I can also find lots of times to say, ‘Help. Me.”
Grant me the strength, God,
to ask for, accept, and appreciate
help when in need I stand.
Grant me the wisdom and grace, God,
to offer and provide appropriate help
when it is needed.
Why is it so difficult for us to muster the courage to seek help when we need it?
Why do we struggle to be more generous toward those who reach out for assistance?
How might we offer and provide appropriate help to others?
Remarkably, the initial step in forging meaningful connections with others begins with a single word or phrase. It marks the genesis of relationships, intimacy, and a divine calling—uttered in humble surrender: “Help me, oh, God. I surrender. I need your help.”