Posted by: 2in10 | 03/14/2011

lady bountiful

When I was pretty new at my church and getting involved in Outreach, someone I respect greatly talked about attitude — not to come across as Lady Bountiful, arriving on her white horse with just what “these poor people” need. She asked that we acknowledge that the recipients’ desires and needs could be different from our own and that we respect them while we endeavored to help.

During the months when I was having chemo for ovarian cancer and many friends and acquaintances from church and the community were helping our family, I had an experience that reminded me of that comment. One evening an acquaintance arrived with dinner for our family with her children in tow. It was very kind of her to bring a meal, and I was grateful and touched.

At the same time, and I hesitate to admit this, I got an inkling of a feeling that we were the exhibit that afternoon, the poor people dealing with cancer. “This is how we lucky ones help people who are suffering,” was what I could feel. I wondered how my daughter would be regarded at school after that, if it got around that her mother didn’t have any hair and was wearing a scarf and looked really sick.

The sequel is that after several weeks of treatment I got well and have been so lucky to stay well. But I experienced an important awareness in that moment that I hope informs any “good deeds” I do.

Thanks for the opportunity to share that story.

Carolyn

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