I think I’ve been doing it all wrong. I’m an independent woman. I try not to inconvenience anyone. I carry my own weight. It’s all good until it’s not. Sometimes my independence shields me from connection and vulnerability. I’m afraid to trust people to come through for me. Sometimes I limit my life to what I can accomplish rather than open myself up to greater possibilities.
Women I barely know came through for me this weekend. If I remained the independent woman as I hosted a backyard wedding for my daughter it would have looked like a hillbilly affair with lawn chairs and poppin’ open a cold one! Instead, wonderfully talented gals came and created beautiful spaces. The flowers were prettier than any I’ve ever seen–Anywhere. Sheree, you are an artist! A huge display of pictures of the bride and groom were artfully hung with cute ribbons and hummingbird cutouts and sweet little flowered twine. Anne, I don’t ever want to take it down! A woman from our high school heard that we needed a speaker and mic at the last minute and she drove an hour to deliver it to our house. Who does that?! Chrissy, I’m humbled by your generosity.
Every now and then, the Bible states something so plainly it makes you smile. I could probably write the first three words of this scripture and you would be able to finish it: “Two are better…” Do you know it? “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) No duh, right?
At first glance this scripture is so basic it makes us smile. But then we realize the foundational beauty of it. People frequently resort to independence and isolation. Yet, at our core, we all understand that two are better than one. We need each other! In the New Testament we are instructed to “bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) Fulfilling the law of Christ means living out His life of love toward others.
Yes, it is humbling to receive help. And yet beautiful and encouraging as well. How many of us here in Silicon Valley long to know that we are not alone, that someone has our back? Who warms your community, my friend? Are there areas of your life where you would welcome some help? What are ways you can come alongside others? We are better together. Let’s get off this independent track and love one another!
If creating a culture of honor is important to you right now, go to http://www.MargaretAllen.org to buy my book, Gracious Living: Creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. Read it on your own or go through it with a group of friends, using the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.