A month or so ago, I received a call from a friend. She was having a bad day. She has a lot of things going on in her life that seemed to be snowballing on that day. She is totally in the “Sandwich” generation. This coined phrase is when you are caring for your aging parent(s) while taking care of your family and yourself.
My friend works full-time and has some health issues. On most days, she handles everything like a pro, and I am in awe of her. But this day she gave into some tears and some emotional feelings, which led to some guilty feelings. I, too, was once in a similar position. While my friends seems much more like a “double decker” to my “single ham and cheese” there are days when you just get overwhelmed and need shelter from the storm.
She was not complaining but the heaviness of it all, adds up. She just needed a safe place to vent WITHOUT unsolicited advice and judgement. (OOPS THE CAPS GOT STUCK!!)
After pressing “end”(yep, we don’t “hang up” anymore!), I quickly texted her..”. I’m always here for you, I’m your umbrella”. I’m not sure where or why “umbrella” came out of my mouth at that moment but as I thought, it became more clear.
On most mornings I pray, that someone will cross my path that needs a word, a smile, a hug, something that I can provide to help or someone crosses my path that will make my day better. I’ve done this for several years (after another friend told me she does this and I should also). The key I think, is we have to look, listen, expect.
As I continued to give thought to the “umbrella”…many things popped into my mind…
storms come and go
there can be warnings or a sudden onset
they can be mild, severe,
they can have damaging winds, destructive hail, drenching rain, flooding,
the sun can be a storm of scorching heat
During these storms a handy dandy umbrella will often shelter us from the elements of the storm…
We cannot change the direction or the destruction of a storm blowing through a friends life. But, we can
be by their side with an umbrella of support. Just to listen, hug, cry or whatever will offer a bit of shelter.
You don’t want to be in a storm without an umbrella. A storm can brew up in minutes…the sun may be shining then out of know where…a storm cloud with drenching pain, winds of destruction, hail stones of betrayal, waves of exhaustion, and heat waves of guilt.
The umbrella you want by your side or who will answer your call, is the sturdy, worn, still in tact umbrella – it has weathered its share of storms and has a shoulder for you to lay on if for just a moment.
(My friend was my rope…she threw it to me to pull me up out of the pit, many times…and has used it to lower me to the feet of Jesus with her words, encouragement, and just listening…)
When a storm, whether it’s mild or severe, comes in to my friends day, I hope to be the “umbrella” that will be the shield from some of life’s harsh realities…a place to sit, relax, and for a moment let the world fade out with the tide…
Psalm 107:28-31nglish Standard Version (ESV)
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
Blessings and hugs…
Recently, three of my works of art were accepted in the
TVAA Still Life Exhibition…If in the Dallas area you are invited to the reception Sunday, March 12, 2-4pm
Plaza of Americas, 700 North Pearl, Dallas, TX