By Angie Koenig
For most of my life, I have done everything imaginable to avoid needing help.
“Can I help you with that?”
“Oh no, thanks, I got it!” – My consistent response delivered with a smile.
I never wanted to be a bother, a burden to anyone around me. Wounds from childhood have left me feeling like I need to manage on my own. I never thought I was hurting anyone by being self-sufficient, my very intent was decidedly not to upset anyone by being an irritation to their otherwise beautiful day.
My eyes were opened to my ignorance, though, one summer afternoon when my sister-in-law recounted something to me that I had overlooked a few days prior when she and my brother had been hosting a couple from Spain. Hands full and barely able to open the door, I was asked by the gentleman from abroad if I wanted help. Of course, my reply was the same as always, “Nah, I got it, but thank you.”
I thought nothing of the encounter. Had my sister-in-law not brought it up, it probably wouldn’t have even gone into my long term memory storage. But she did bring it up because unbeknownst to me, I had really offended her guest. After I had left the day that he offered me assistance, he asked my sister-in-law if I had a problem with him because I wouldn’t let him help me. She explained to him that it was nothing he did, it’s just how I am.
Needless to say, I felt absolutely terrible. Her guests were lovely and I had thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them while there were visiting. I thought I was being kind by not wanting to bother him, turns out that’s not how he saw it. And it got me thinking, how many other times have I hurt people, men and women alike, by refusing to accept their kindness?
For so many years I thought that the way to a person’s heart was to avoid needing their help, but in reality, that’s a very good way to push people away. We are constantly reminded that love is a verb, and if a verb, then by definition love is an action. Love is service, and if we don’t allow others to serve us in the many ways they can and want to, we are rejecting love in our lives.
When you embrace your true identity, that of a beloved child of God, you will come to realize that accepting assistance doesn’t make you helpless, it makes you selfless. By allowing others to help you, in little or big situations, you have an opportunity to snuff out the flame of pride that grows in your heart by saying no to your desire to “prove” your own abilities. So yes, We Can Do It! but isn’t it beautiful that we don’t always have to?
As we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption, I can’t help but think that this is a perfect time to evaluate what we are doing to lift others up in the Kingdom of God, especially men, who are so intrinsically wired to come to our aide. I’ll be honest with you sisters, as an independent woman, it’s hard to ask for and receive help, and it’s something I’m still learning how to do gracefully.
But then I remember the gentleman who has my heart; He is the flawless example of a person who allowed Himself to be loved, even if He did come to serve and not be served (Matt 20:28). Every day I strive to be more like my Savior and to see and embrace love when it’s offered.
So here’s to the men who open doors! They are exquisite images of our loving Father. May their humble gift of love and service never go unappreciated by those whom they seek to serve.
About the author:
Angie Koenig is a passionate follower of Jesus working her way through life as a Millennial. She is the youngest of nine children and embraces her role as a daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Angie blogs about her love story with Jesus at www.spirituallyspokenfor.com. Currently, she resides in Eau Claire, WI where she enjoys anything that involves coffee.