asking for help

No, I’m not asking you for help. Not now. I don’t think.

I realized today (again) that there is a big gap in my behavior between having the great creative idea and making it happen, between creativity and creation.


Let me tell you what happened.

Our pastor is doing a series of messages about marriage. In particular, he’s talking about ways to shatterproof your marriage.As we talked about images to illustrate a couple, we looked at lots of pictures and decided to use the generic man and woman that show up everywhere. It’s a great, simple, flexible concept.

The next piece of thinking was to decide to put 8-foot versions of the people on the wall in the gymnasium we use. Because the first message is about communication, we decided to have the couple each talking on a cell phone.

It’s a simple process: use an overhead projector, trace the figures on bulletin board paper, cut them out, fasten them to black plastic, hang them on the wall.

It’s simple but I got stuck.

For two days I’ve had the pieces and the supplies and the item on my list, but I just couldn’t get moving. Until today when Kim volunteered to help.

I almost told her no. Then I realized that I could describe what I needed and she could work on it. She traced and cut and we pinned and I hung them on the wall. We were done by the middle of the afternoon, each of us doing bits of the project.

As I was 20 feet in the air using a lift, I realized that I was stuck at the point of making the imagined tangible. There was something huge about taking the small step of tracing a figure on a paper. And I realized that I often get stuck there, stuck because I can’t ask for help.

In the interest of doing it myself, of not imposing, of being the creative one, I keep people who know how to do stuff from doing stuff. I waste energy on procrastination, on list making, on telling myself I had to get busy. Meanwhile, Kim had the time, the ability, the creativity, the helpfulness. If I had asked, she would have helped a day ago.

But then I wouldn’t have been able to write about my inability to ask for help. And you wouldn’t have been saved the lesson.


2 responses to “asking for help

  1. I found that also the other day. Asking for help is a big thing to learn.


  2. “…something huge about taking the small step…” To the person who delights in the small step thing, it remains tiny.

    The mindset that keeps me from asking the person who has the feet for the small step lives in the same neighborhood with the thinking that crops up when I struggle to say “no”, forgetting that my “no” will likely give someone else the chance to say “yes”.