Gifts I Cannot Repay

The women’s fellowship at the church gave me a house cleaning service.

They sent me a cleaning lady for a half-year last year, but when they found out that I would be continually on chemo, they generously sent me the same gift this year again.

Although I am on chemo, I don’t have little children, and don’t work any more.  I can still clean the house, but it is always so nice to receive the service.

Last week a team of mother and daughter came over to my house and made my house immaculate.

I have received such kindness from the church since the day George announced my cancer in 2010: Rejoicing or worrying together with me, the congregation has continually supported me.

I have received two big bags of get-well cards, companionships of walking, lunch, or tea, and even deliveries of meals!

My mother in Japan worried how I could thank people for all those kindnesses, but  the Bible calls these undeserved , un-repayable gifts God’s grace, and I have been receiving this grace since the very beginning of my battle against cancer.

Honestly, it is not always easy to publicize how I am doing; it is also difficult to receive the offers of help.  I have to humble myself to receive, which is difficult as well as to give.

As my mother concerns, if I start thinking that I am obligated to return those favors, I would not able to take them because it is just impossible.

In the Bible as Jesus was going to wash the disciples’ dirty feet, for Peter this act looked too good for him and he was afraid of taking it.  Yet Jesus answered, “ But if I don’t wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

If I were too proud  or too afraid of and had declined the gifts of the kindnesses, I would neither have developed the sense of belonging to the family of the church nor had the intimacy with God.

Several years ago, in Japan there was a family, who raised a million dollars worth of funds in just one night through a T.V. show, in order to come to the U.S. for  a heart transplant.  They came to L.A. with the T.V. crew, who made a deal with the family to make an exclusive documentary about their organ transplant.  After the long intense night of the organ transplant surgery, the crew asked the parents for a long interview.  The parents, who stayed up all night and were exhausted, asked if the mother could be excused from the interview, instead of two parents together.  They were told, “ Who you are asking such thing?  You’d better not to forget what you have received from us,” and they could not decline this demand.

I have thought if kindness had a hook, you might be caught for ever.

Yet, the Bible says we have to freely help each other because God first helped us by sacrificing His only son.

Jesus washed his disciples’ dirty feet because he wanted to set a good example for us.

Being thankful as a blessed receiver, I ask God to help me grow so that I can wash someone’s dirty feet just like Jesus’ disciples and give generously like the sisters and brothers in the Neighborhood Church who have reached out to me.



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