Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Am Trying Not to Bore You to Death

Which is why I just deleted an entire post.

It was long. It was about my friend Cheryl, and why I'm not going to drive her to church.

I began by outlining the many ways I've been a friend to Cheryl, who goes to my old church and has had myriad health problems this past year. I told you about the hospital visits I made, the diabetic baked goods I baked. I made it clear to you that I am a Good Guy when it comes to Cheryl.

I mentioned at length how I will be helping out Cheryl this summer by walking her dog. I did not mention that I think maybe she should find another home for her dog. You might not think I was a Good Guy if I suggested maybe a woman who has difficulty walking should not, at this time in her life, own a dog.

It's important you think I'm a Good Guy. After all, the whole post was leading up to the fact that I'm not going to drive someone--someone I consider a friend, someone who can't drive herself, someone who at the age of 57 has to live in assisted living with the ninety-year-olds--to church.

You have to be a Very Good Guy to get away with that.

The fact is, it's hard to justify not driving someone to church, even if the church in question is not your church. Even if the question might be raised: Why isn't someone from the church that is her church and not your church driving her? (Actually, it was someone from her church who suggested I might drop Cheryl off on my way to church).

My justification for not driving someone who really wants to go to church to church? I will have to leave home forty-five minutes early. Cheryl's church is on the way to my church, it's true, but Cheryl's in a wheelchair. I've taken Cheryl to church before, to the Thursday service, and I can tell you it's quite an affair to wheel someone to your van, push her into the front seat, cram the chair into the back, drive, get there, get the chair out, and pull her back into the chair.

I sound terrible. I sound like a Not Very Good Guy. I don't want to help someone in a wheelchair. I don't want to get up forty-five minutes early on Sunday to do a job surely Jesus would do.

But Jesus didn't have to get Jack and Will and the Man ready for church, did He? If He did, I suspect he might be on my side in this particular instance of selfishness.

I can bake the diabetic baked goods. I can make the visits. I can walk the dog. But getting everyone ready for church forty-five minutes early? Or leaving the Man to get the boys ready while I took the other car to get Cheryl? Honey, there wouldn't be no boys from my family at church if that happened.

So there you have it. I'm not a Good Guy. I am a lazy, selfish guy with a husband and children who are all but helpless (not to mention not particularly motivated when it comes to church-going). All I've got going for me at this time is the sincere desire to make reading this blog worth your time. It's all I have left. And frankly, it might not be enough to save me.


Gumbo Lily said...

Lefty, did God ask you to be the Wife and Mother first? I adore your honesty.


Tracy said...

Ahhh Frances. You sound a tad like me. I refused to offer transport to the girl who lives around the corner to a bible study group for the girls in our church (she goes somewhere else) which is 25 minutes away. I've car pooled with them before and it was not a positive experience for us. I told her if her mum wanted to drive her there and back she could do whatever she liked and didn't need my permission to go. So, now you know I'm equally selfish and lazy.

I'm wondering though, why is it you feel like it needs to be YOU who is responsible for this lady, and why people who could help are pointing her your way? Consider this your way of making sure other people are blessed by caring for others. Spread it around, I say!

Ali said...

Knowing where to draw the line is a very good thing in my book. That way, your sanity stays intact.

Dulce Domum said...

Aww,the trouble is, we ain't Jesus, chuckie egg. Is there no-one from this lady's own church who could do this for you? Perhaps you could ring her vicar? Aren't Anglican churches, throughout the world, full of empty-nesters who have a bit more time on their hands than a mum of two reluctant young boys?

debbie bailey said...

I'm impressed by your decision to NOT take her. Most of us would feel guilty and do it anyway grumbling the whole time. A good work then becomes a bad one.

I tend to stretch myself too thin helping take care of my grandchildren. Then I'm cranky with my own family. I need to say no more, too. Thanks for the inspiration!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Jody, that's what I keep telling myself--right now, it's family first. When the kids get older, there's more I'll be able to do for friends like Cheryl. It's hard, though, when you have a friend in need and know she doesn't have a lot of folks to depend on.

Tracy, I like the idea of making my mission to make sure others are blessed by caring for Cheryl! I fear at this moment there are three of us enjoying such blessings, and we're all feeling a little burnt out. The good news is, Cheryl is good company and nice to be around. Interestingly, I think it's nbetter to feel guilty about someone you like rather than someone you don't! When you start feeling guilty about not doing something for someone you don't like, it can start to get ugly.

Ali, Sanity and line-drawing are high on my list of priorities. Unfortunately, sometimes I make commitments for my future self that I don't realize until later are going to drive me absolutely insane.

Dulce, The vicar (or rector, as we say here) is on my list of folks to contact. Unfortunately, it's a church in disarray, filled with a lot of senior citizens who aren't in a great position to help out. Still, they're rich, so maybe they could just pony up for a weekly cab ride.

Debbie, That's exactly what I want to avoid--doing a good deed with a black heart! I really like Cheryl, but already I'm starting to feel burdened, and from there things can only get worse if I'm not careful. Which is why I'm trying to be careful!

Angela said...

If you were here at my church, I would be 100% behind you on this one! She is NOT your responsibility - either she comes along to your church with you, OR someone from her church should fetch her. And she obviously doesnt want to be at your place or she would have suggested it by now. Stick with the decision NOt to drive her. And do NOT get pressured into false guilt about it.
YOU have a REAL responsibility to Jack and Will and The Man - ESPECIALLY to your kids, to make the sunday worship experience real and meaningful for them, NOT a time when they see Mom hassled and pressured. DD is right, ring her pastor and leave it with him to sort out!
Don't let other people set your agenda- it is for you and the Lord called you to be a Wife and Mother. Not a Cab Driver!!

vgeerling said...

Couldnt someone from her church do it? Or, she could change churches? (that's asking a bit much probably)
Ah, kids and husbands so get in the way of good deeds don't they?! Well, I don't nee to remind you of the old cliche that they are your first good deeds...
Sounds like you'e doing a lot for C anyway already.
Have a great holiday!

Victoria (dear meagan)

vgeerling said...

p.s white outfits for kids that young? Oh america!