A few years ago I began dating a wonderful man whose family had business providing healthcare, jobs and opportunities for developmentally disabled adults within the community. The majority of their clients required full time care, and I took a weekend to visit their staff and clients at their yearly summer camp.
Towering over all of us at camp was a forty-foot zip line fashioned with wood and strings. It looked a bit unsteady, even for the most adventurous type, but our friends in wheelchairs were eager to get in and have their chance. Perhaps the daily challenge of not being able to get around on their own gave them a heightened desire to fly. More power to them. It was sheer enjoyment just to see their willing faces await their turn.
Bobby’s turn was up next. He is non-verbal, meaning he has no ability to communicate with his words, but his smile and eyes said everything we needed to know. Bobby was excited, and it didn’t matter how many people it took to get him in that harness, he was ready to go!
Two strong men grabbed each of Bobby’s legs, another man grabbed his waist, someone grabbed him from the front and carried his weight as two others held the harness he was placed in. Another three people hoisted him up the incline and seven more people hung tightly to the rope ensuring Bobby’s safety. No one complained about their job and responsibility, nobody thought Bobby was a burden, and everyone wanted to be a part!
And it got me thinking… when did we begin seeing dependence on others as a weakness?
The runners ran the rope to the top of the hill and Bobby was lifted higher and higher. He let out a few sighs and squeals and even did his best to clap his hands together. As the zip line let go, we all cheered for Bobby and team for this incredible accomplishment! Bobby was so brave, and the community was so rock solid in seeing him through.
Every one of us needs a Bobby.
God will make us fruitful in the land of suffering (Genesis 41:52) but we are not going to make it out alone. The beauty of celebrating Bobby was that it took everyone to make him successful, and there was no shame in it. When there is teamwork in the trial, there can be a shared victory, and God always wants us to share our victories with his other children.
Heavenly Father, help me to see my need for you and for others. Help me to admit when I am weak, and not see my needs as a weakness. Lord please provide community around me to help me when I am hurting. Lift up my spirits. Touch my physical body and ease the ache. Give me words to pray when I am in pain, and God, help me to always pay attention to the needs of those around me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Chapter Ten in No More Faking Fine is a chapter called, Lamenting Together. I hope this chapter helps us get unstuck from a place of self sufficiency.