Midweek Question~May 8~How Can I Help?

How Can I Help? a little book published by Chris Shea and Harvest House

Just in the previous year, I’ve joined a club with so many of my friends. Together we have encountered dark nights of the soul that have continued into weeks and months and years. We’ve have experienced deployments, severe illnesses, surgeries, job setbacks, sudden moves, and the final passing of one or both parents.

How Can I Help?It is difficult to know what to say to help and give comfort during these times. Chris Shea’s offers a way in her book, How Can I Help? Chris puts the emphasis on healing and the grace of God’s care.

How Can I Help? is a little volume that captures our willingness to do absolutely anything to alleviate the pain of another. Through a series of illustrated intentions… (“I could get you a little, red sweater with pretty yellow buttons so you can feel warmer when the world seems cold”) Chris Shea gives voice to our willingness to be there for another.

 

Chris’ gift of expression and illustration is quite accurately, as she describes in the pages of How Can I Help?, “a Band-aid made in heaven.”

 

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Other Midweek Questions

Little Prayers to Bless Your Day

Little Prayers to Bless Your Day book picture

Picture courtesy of Chris Shea and Amazon

I recently had a small leak in my tub faucet. By themselves, the little drip, drip, drips were not a great bother. At bedtime, I put a pitcher underneath the faucet to catch the stray drops. By morning, I discovered that the drops filled the entire pitcher! Accumulating the single drops made an impact over even a short amount of time!

So it also is with prayer, as my friend Chris Shea gently reminds her readers in her new book, Little Prayers to Bless Your Day. Chris is also the author of many books including So This Is How Being a Grandmother Feels, God Thinks You’re Wonderful (with Max Lucado) and If God Used Sticky Notes®. Chris is a supportive friend of my fledgling attempts on this blog.

Using her talent palette for illustration, writing, and Bible verse pairing, Chris creates a beautifully delicate reminder to “Pray without ceasing”.  Chris writes, “Imagine the blessings that would come in a day where a little prayer—like grace before meals—is whispered while doing ordinary things like waiting in line, shopping for shoes, or doing a load of wash. Surely, praying a little more often—like between meals—would bless the one upon whom our thoughts rested…and us too.”

Reminds me of George MacDonald’s statement, “Anything big enough to occupy our minds is big enough to hang a prayer on.”

Little Prayers to Bless Your Day is perfect to carry in your purse, give to a friend, leave in the hospital room after a visit, gift to a neighbor, tuck into a child’s care package for summer camp or school, slip into an envelope for mailing, and so much more.

Our prayers may seem like little drips to a big God, but because He is a big God, He can turn our drips into a deluge of blessings! I am so glad that I have Little Prayers to Bless Your Day as a delicate, visual reminder.

A Story of Gentleness

During the storm and struggles of last week, I received this email from Chris Shea, a talented artist and enlighted soul. Hope it ministers to you as it ministered to me and begins your weekend on a peaceful, gentle note…
 
     Recently I was stopped at a traffic light when I saw a homeless man struggling with his shopping cart. It was on a sloping portion of the sidewalk and he appeared to be trying to put his bedroll and a few other belongings inside, but the slope was winning and the wheels were turning and he was clearly not having a good morning.
Sitting close beside both the man and the sidewalk was a little dog, which I presumed was his. The man kept getting the bungee cord stuck on the side of the cart and he simply could not get the bedroll to behave. It appeared that his temper was rising, and it looked like there was some hollering involved, probably at the maddening situation of rolling cart and recalcitrant bedroll. Then came drizzle from the gloomy sky.
      But still sitting there watching was his little dog. No leash, no apparent urge to run off, because the man’s temper  seemed in no way directed at the dog. Dog loyalty. Nothing loves you like a dog.

     Sometimes we all need something like that little dog in our corner. Someone or something who will sit by us when our tempers flare at things like rolling carts and stubborn bungee cords or our own life-versions of them. Someone who knows that deep down we really are good people but that when gravity duels with wheels- and wins- and then it seems like the sky piles on with drizzle and gloom, we might not actually be acting like our highest self. We all need that one who knows our calmer, nicer self is just around the corner, so they stick beside us, and never once wag their finger at us and say,
 
     “You know what you might want to do…”
     They just sit there. Loyal to their friend. Patient with their friend.
I’m guessing the day had to get better for the man, and I fervently hope there was a nice treat for the little four legged friend who just sat there. Loyal. Patient. Well, just being a dog…
© Chris Shea, 2011
heart collage by Helen

heart collage by Helen Teague

A Word From My Sponsor

Matthew 28 6

May the Easter story never fail to give me goosebumps…Chris Shea
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