The door in our basement squeaks. It is a loud and angry squeak. Each time my husband comes home from the farm, he enters through this door. That hinged “hello” is how we know he is home.
I could easily spray some grease on the whiny hinges but there is something comforting about hearing that squeak followed by his footsteps coming up the stairs. It’s a squeak I probably won’t grease any time soon.
This past weekend a friend of mine came to me with a problem. She has another friend who is going through a divorce. The divorce, as many divorces are, is not a pretty one. Unfortunately, the couple has some young children. The divorcing couple have not only pushed one another away but they have checked out on caring for their kids. My friend has helped care for the little sweeties a number of days each week for about 6 months and the weight of it is taking a toll on her own homelife. Each time the phone rings with a call for her to watch the other kiddos, it is a “squeak” that makes her cringe.
As my friend is an amazing human being, it breaks her heart to see those kiddos suffer, but something has to give.
I reminded her that we are called to be kind and serve where we can, but it sounds like her service to that family is just covering up the “squeak.” It is going to take her saying “No” or staging an intervention for the hurtful impacts of the divorce to be realized and sooth the situation for that family.
It’s not her job to grease that squeak.
Her life and the lives of her family will run much smoother if she makes some noise of her own or even responds with the silence that comes from acknowledging the problem won’t be fixed by ignoring the discord and dumping their kids on other people.
Sometimes “No” is the best way to get the grease flowing. When we bring light to the fact that there is a problem, finding a fix becomes a priority. Seeking a solution can bring about harmony and ignite all the parts to work as they should in the machinery of life. I am not saying that walking away from problems is the best way to solve negative situations, but sometimes it’s not our squeak to grease.
While I find comfort in the sound of our squeaky door, I know that my friend will continue to dread the ring of her phone until something is done to alleviate the dissonance that rings from the broken family’s situation. I promise to be a happy din in her life as she works past this rough patch and help mute any sad sounds she may need to make. (There may be wine and/or chocolate involved)
I challenge others to help grease the melancholy moans of those they care for, but remember our Intentergy is precious. Don’t waste it greasing squeaks that are not ours to grease.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I do not encourage spraying friends with WD-40, Crisco, or olive oil, unless their head is really stuck between the railings on the steps from downstairs.