Tom, a single guy from church about our age, came up to us when Joey was about 3 years old and said to us, "I noticed that you and Joe don’t come to church together. I see you each take a different service and exchange cars in the parking lot, each of you coming and going with Joey. Would you like me to be his buddy and try to sit with him in his toddler Sunday school class?” At that time our tiny church had nothing for the special needs community (it does now!) but Tom somehow saw a need and made him self available and willing to offer to fill it!
We wondered if he noticed we were always late to church due to that exchange with Joey in our cars? Did he notice we were occasionally absent? Did he notice how we struggle to keep Joey quiet in our little church because we had nowhere for him to go and participate? Did he instinctively recognize that Joey would frustrate and exhaust the Sunday school teacher because he couldn’t handle all the stimulus of noise and commotion and would need far more help and attention than any teacher should be asked to give in these settings, thus adding pressure to that teacher? In those early years, Joey could not handle the noise or the fast movement of the other children—it was all too much for him.
Somehow this kind man determined from what he observed that we needed help if we were to learn or participate in church ourselves.
So with a bit of reluctance (because we knew Joey might have sensory overload with all the movement and noise) we said, “YES!” We were just blown away that he had taken notice. But even more impressive was that he acted upon what he had observed. He diligently and lovingly spent a number of Sunday’s with Joey in his arms and on his lap in that noisy room, trying to help him adjust. Joey would cry and wiggle, and really gave Tom a work out, but Tom never once complained and never once asked to be released from this duty for which he volunteered. It meant so much to us in so many ways. After a while, we recognized that Joey was just not able to handle it and relieved Tom of his duties with much deserved praise. Take the next offer up with an answer of “YES!” To this day, he is one of our hero’s who’s helped.
Might we suggest that you take people up on their offers to help?
Sometimes we don’t want to “let go” or think we can do it better, but there are those treasures out there who might ask if they can help, and we need to be sure we give them that chance to serve.