The cheerleader

“You know, Dawn, I really don’t think I have much to bring to this whole Parish Nursing ministry. I can’t see the big picture. I don’t know how to get money. I can’t get excited about creating a structure for ministry. I don’t even think I have what it takes to coordinate in my own little church.”

I respond, “Take a deep breath, Cherie. You don’t need to put anything in place. All you need to do is be. You are the cheerleader. What you used to do to encourage the football players to play hard on the field, you are now situated to do to keep the cancer patient fighting for their life, to keep the PTSD soldier living normal life with as few flashbacks as possible, to give confidence to the new mother with her first baby, to ease the passing of the family matriarch from this life into the next.”

Cherie remained non-committal. Cherie went to her husband’s aunt’s 87th birthday party. I went to the Scriptures and read from Romans 12:4-8

4-6In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

6-8If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

Learning to walk with Him this Wednesday and every day,


7 comments on “The cheerleader

  1. A very nice translation of those verses… puts it all very plainly!
    We indeed do so much better all together as a body than when we try to be everything all at once by ourselves… we need each other!
    good thoughts here Dawn
    holding the smile
    saying a word to my Abba for you and your friend Cherie…

    • Dear Susan,

      Prayers are so needed as this work continues. We need faith for it is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). It was my memory verse all last week. I had to re-memorized it from the KJV. This is the NIV. Being that certain, sure is not my forte, but I do trust God and his great cloud of witnesses. You are one of them.

      Have a marvelous day in the Lord, Dear Susan,

  2. “If you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.” This very last part of your Scripture selection really speaks to me . . . I have started being a “companion” to an elderly lady with some physical issues and I can see already that it would be very easy to become irritated and/or depressed by her, but my heart is to keep that smile on my face and be a blessing to her, that my treatment of her would be such that she would be asking me “what’s different about you”?
    I find this post very encouraging because “Colleen” would like to make me more than I am and take up more time than I have committed to . . . but I am not the answer to all her problems and I just have to be who I am, remembering whose I am, and trust God to meet her every need.

  3. I can identify with Cheri. I get these ideas — and I will admit here, some were brilliant ideas for me — of how to minister, etc. Then, I’m the one who sees all the little details, the minute things, and soon I have this HUGE pile in front of me of things I just can’t do. The big picture I had in the beginning seems blocked by all the stuff that has to be done before. . . all the stuff I probably can’t do. I forget about “the body,” all the parts coming together to make the whole. I forget about the gifts, and how each one has something to give in their unique way. I forget that I’m not the whole — I’m just a part. I don’t remember where I was, but I saw this unique fountain. I was all these clay vessels on their sides, arranged in the most beautiful way, and they poured out water in just the right volume and speed so that each spout of water met in the middle, forming one big splash. Is not this what we are to be in our service to Him? Vessels being poured out, each bringing their own and emptying it into one big pool of beautiful service?

    Andrea, I understand completely what you are saying about the one you care for. I live with a very disabled lady. It has been a character building thing for me, as I tend to see my own selfish attitudes come to the surface many, many times. And there has to be checks and balances in place to keep me from becoming only what she wants me to be and giving too much time. It’s hard not to be irritated and to do all with love and compassion as Jesus would do. And I am the queen of crabby!!!!!

    Dawn, I will pray for Cherie. I know that overwhelmed feeling. I’m where she is right now, doing nothing because the whole puzzle box of 1,000 pieces has spilled out into one heap in front of me and I don’t know what to do with it all!!!!

    • Andrea Dawn and Cora,

      It takes the whole body and we each have a part to play in the body. We can not do this alone. That is the message I was to get from this post. With your help, I did. Cherie and I had a good laugh today. She called me and told me that God gave her just the words to say to her pastor tomorrow. We are taking her pastor to breakfast. She was all overwhelmed about what she should say and, frustrated, because she didn’t think she could do it.

      She called me this morning after she got her word from the Lord and I smiled from ear to ear, “You, Dawn, you are Dr Mahmood. You chatter, chatter ALL your thoughts out-loud and I think you mean for us to do ALL of them, but you don’t, you are simply stating all that COULD be done.” Yes, that is exactly it and while I am speaking I am simultaneously doling out some “pieces of the puzzle” to this person, and “some pieces of the puzzle” to another person and holding these “pieces” until I see more blue ones or red ones or whatever, etc etc.

      Dr. Mahmood was a neonatologist who would speak out-loud as he problem-solved. After you worked with him awhile, you knew not make a move until he was done because he was just talking possibilities, not necessarily what he was really going to do. I laughed when Cherie said that. She now knows she doesn’t have to “spring into action” the moment I speak because I am just speaking.

      So, Cora, you are sitting there with 1000 pieces and once you sit down to begin the puzzle, the others are gathering around (remember your inbox with offers of help?) Any card table with a half-done puzzle is a magnet if one person sits down at it. Pour those pieces out, Sister! And REMEMBER, you can walk away when your part is done.

      Both of you are so wise to realize that some people can suck the life out of you if you let them, but they are the same ones who have a lot to teach us if we play the game within the boundaries of the game. Once foul balls and strike zones are sloughed off as not important, the caregiver opens herself up for abuse. Shore up those boundaries, Ladies!

      This has been a great reminder to me to divide up the pieces, stick to the rules and PRAY without ceasing.

      Love you,

      • Isn’t it just like the Lord to do things like this — Giving Cherie wisdom and confidence to go on, and here I am, the Lord giving me wisdom in my own puzzle box! I went to see the girl who was bleeding in church and she told me she needed nothing. While I was there, I was met by a young boy who was so polite, offered me a seat, introduced himself with a hand extended for a handshake, etc. Pattie told me he had taken him in as he had no home (14 years old!). But Pattie also told me that she didn’t need a thing, that she was doing ok. My heart questioned that! As I left, I was confused. God had asked me to do this, others offered to help. . . no what were we to do? I asked the Lord for wisdom and clarity. As I was praying, I remembered a statement Pattie made when she greeted me: “Oh, I’m so glad it’s you — I thought it was Child Services coming to check up on me!” As I thought about that, I realized that there was no way she could express a need for fear of it getting back to Child Services and the boys would be taken away from her. So here we are, back to seeking wisdom on what to do and doing it on our own. It’s my fault for not befriending her more before this as I would have had her trust by now. Please pray I’ll do the right things here to bring some relief to this poor gal! And thank you Dawn, for leading the way in all this. Here we all are, so spread out and far from each other, yet our paths constant cross in what we are doing, how we are growing, and the changes God is making in our lives. SWEET!!!!!

  4. I laughed out loud, Cora, when you said, ‘SWEET!” That is the phrase my second son uses all the time when something strikes him as good. You’re getting to be a real hipster mingling with the youngsters at your church. You go, Girl!

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