My goal: To be like the Good Samaritan and find opportunities to serve along life’s path.

I was so excited this week! Where would my new challenge to serve someone in need end-up? I looked for cars stranded on the side of the road; I looked for someone in obvious distress … I looked and I looked, but I didn’t see anyone that needed rescuing!

Then as I pondered and contemplated this week, I began to remember.

cafe-768771_640I remembered my girlfriend Tammy’s adorable 3rd grade son, showing up to school with his head wrapped in gauze, wires coming off of his curly red hair, and wearing a backpack/battery pack of some kind. Since he and my youngest daughter are friends and combined have enough energy to power a small city, Tammy and I really didn’t get a chance to chat. Later on, unable to get the picture of his wiring out of my mind, I texted her to set-up a lunch date.

At lunch, we talked and I really focused on listening—which is hard for me because I really love coming up with a funny insight to lighten up life’s hardships. But something constrained me, and I just listened, trying to concentrate only on what she was saying and tuning out the distractions of who was coming in and out of the restaurant.

As I really focused on what she was saying, I learned that she has been struggling with parents in poor health, a son recently diagnosed with seizures, problems with neighbors, and so on. My heart ached for her burdens and as much as I wanted to offer some wise counsel to help, I still felt constrained to be quiet and just listen. As we realized we had been visiting for almost 2 hours, we began packing up our half-eaten lunches. Tammy looked at me, really looked at me, and said, “Thank you so much. I needed this. Thank you.”

… I hadn’t DONE anything.

I remembered bumping into my friend Sophia and spending over an hour talking—again, that same feeling of constraint causing me to listen far more than talk. She shared how her home is trying to baptize itself, one room at a time. Their basement flooded earlier in the week and last night a broken water pipe on the second floor of their home leaked through the ceiling of their first floor!

river-724504_640She is always able to make light of hard situations … despite the fact that her doctor has recently told her that there is nothing more the medical profession can do for her. The incredible amount of pain she lives with daily sometimes cripples her and she can’t even leave her bed. I would do anything to make her life easier—she has brought so much joy and laughter to my own life. But as we talked, no insights came, only the feeling to listen—to be quiet when she was quiet and to fully focus on her. As we parted, she hugged me close and whispered in my ear, “Thank you so much. I needed this.”

… I hadn’t DONE anything.

I want to do something for those around me who carry such heavy loads of care. As I travel on this road of life, I want to do something to make life easier, to help carry the burdens so many have to bear.

As I think on this week’s experiences, my mind makes one of those connections that teaches. One of my daughters has a chromosomal disorder—Triple X. Quick genetic lesson: a man has one X chromosome and one Y chromosome; a woman has two X chromosomes. However, through a random twist of fate, my daughter has three X chromosomes.

This disorder often causes speech difficulties. For my daughter, she has moderately severe speech apraxia—she understands everyone around her perfectly and she knows in her mind what she wants to say; however, getting the words from her brain and out her mouth is a long and complicated process. She is almost twelve and has been in speech therapy since the age of three. She couldn’t say, “Mama” for years. The first time she walked over to me and whispered, “I love you” into my ear is one of my most cherished moments of motherhood victory.

My sweet Bunny is so very, very shy. Whether she is innately shy or whether it’s because it took her so much longer to learn to speak compared to her peers, I don’t know. I do know that she is terrified of people noticing anything wrong with her. However, when she feels ‘safe’ with someone, she will chatter happily and has an impish sense of humor! The key is that she needs to feel ‘safe’ enough to trust that the person she is talking to won’t point out a speech imperfection and will instead focus on what she’s saying, not how she’s saying it.

To read more of Emlee's articles, click here.

To read more of Emlee’s articles, click here.

Perhaps that’s what I could do this week in my search to be more like the Savior’s Good Samaritan on the road to Jericho. I could listen without judgement, listen to what these incredible women were saying, really listen to them. This is how I can best show God to those around me, by simply listening as He does to me—to my struggles, my fears, my inadequacies, and then quietly allowing me to learn for myself the path He has set before my feet.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta is one of my heroes. She lifted up the weary in life, fed the hungry, and served the poor. I want to be more like her. She once said, “What we do is nothing but a drop in the ocean, but if we didn’t do it, the ocean would be one drop less.”

This week, I learned to truly listen. To quiet the voices in my own mind that want to have the answers or a quick and witty response, to just BE and to be there for my friends and fellow travelers on the journey of life.

About Emlee Taylor
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of more than 20 years. 

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