On Saturday afternoons, I go to church. I attend a very large church, and I enjoy the Saturday afternoon service at my campus because it’s (marginally) less crowded. Also because I have a 60-mile commute to work and I drive 35-40 minutes to get to church, so I like having one day—Sundays—where I don’t drive anywhere.
This past Saturday, one of my friends who is also a member met me there. After the service, she went up for prayer, and I could tell she was really struggling with something, so I asked her if she wanted to go grab food. She said she didn’t have the money, so I told her it was my treat. We went to one of our favorite places, a Mediterranean grill about 15 minutes away that’s rarely super busy.
We stayed for two and a half hours, talking over everything that was bothering her. Her mom was recently diagnosed with stage IV cancer and it in the hospital a few hours away with an infection—and she doesn’t have enough paid time off to cover another visit. Her boyfriend is having a hard time right now and the stress from some of his family issues has also landed in her lap. In short, she’s dealing with a lot and needed to talk.
I got home several hours later than I had planned, having spent more money than I planned, but my friend needed that time and that support more than I needed either the time or the money. Sometimes, to make the world a greener place for someone else costs us something. Time. Money. A disrupted schedule. But we will never regret making a difference in someone else’s life—and my friend was laughing, not crying, by the time we left the restaurant.