Recently at church I heard a phrase that I've been thinking about ever since:
"Bias toward action"
A couple in our congregation had some friends who were going through some tough stuff, and they didn't know how to support them. They reached out to our pastor to get some advice, confessing they didn't know what to do, but they knew they wanted to do something. They wanted to have a bias toward action.
It might seem simple, but the truth is doing doesn't always come naturally, especially when it involves stepping into the lives of others. Even as an extroverted, type-A person, I still struggle with making the leap from "should" to "did" in terms caring for people.
We all know people in need. Someone who has a sick relative, or a new baby, or they lost their job, or they just moved into town. We hear of (or from) these people and we may feel a call to help...but there are countless things that keep us from actually reaching out. It could be busyness, or laziness. For me, it's often as simple as being wrapped up in the day-to-day of my own life, feeling like it can be challenging to get through the day, let alone have anything extra to give. It could also be that we feel uncomfortable. We might not feel like we know them well enough to step in. Or our fears of awkward silence or saying or doing something wrong, overtake our desire to serve.
But I don't think any of those things, as true as they may be, should be enough to keep us from caring about others. Because Jesus didn't command us to think about feeding his sheep. He didn't say, "If you love me, consider feeding my sheep, but really it's the thought that counts, so I totally understand if you don't actually get around to it." And He certainly didn't commission us to pull the old "scrawl 'our prayers are with you' on a card and then go about our business" guilt-relief trick.
Nope. Jesus called us into the tough stuff. He set the example of loving the unlovable, of giving beyond what feels comfortable, of going out and doing when so many others were content to hang back or look the other way. He called us...and still calls us to action.
So, when a fellow mama is going through a rough time, we need to not only remember this calling, but heed it. We need to change our sentiment from a passive, "Let me know if there's anything I can do" to an action-biased: "I'd love to drop off dinner. Any favorites you're in the mood for?" or "Seems like you could use a break. What day would work for me to take your kids on an outing?" or even just "I care about you, but I honestly don't know what to say or do...How can I bless you during this time?"
It's a bias toward action, and a bias toward love. It's a bias toward Christ.