From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Last night a group of Army wives got together for "coffee" although there wasn't a drop of the stuff in sight. We dressed up, chatted, shared our weeks, offered and received comfort, and then said goodnight after filling both our stomachs and souls. How I needed both!
Some weeks here are good; others seem endless. Last week I found a groove; this week's been the worst I've missed my level-headed, funny husband since he left fifteen weeks ago. I almost canceled and stayed holed up in my basement. I doubt I was the only one who forced a smile and showed up to offer and receive the solace of those who understand the challenges of deployment.
These women are each amazing. What struck me last night was how, as a group, we complement one another and are mutually stronger. It brought to mind the above verse. The military life is not for everyone, nor do the majority of people in this world belong to the body of Christ. I count myself blessed to be part of both. Magic occurs when individuals merge, knitting their individual parts together for strength. On our own, we falter and unravel. United we hold not only our own strand together but those connected with us, too.
Several years ago, when Nathan directed a prison ministry, we attended an "open house" at a correctional facility. On display were items prisoners had used to create contraband like knives made from sharpened spoons, pens, etc. Most impressive to me was the rope made from toilet paper. An industrious inmate wet down small pieces of toilet paper, twined them together to make thin, twisted strands, wrapped five strands into one, created three more just like it and braided them all together. He created three more braids the same way. Then, like a hairdresser, he braided the braids into a single rope. The guards allowed us to pick it up. I pulled and twisted. It did not break. Nathan grabbed one end, I held the other. We still couldn't break it. That's the power of togetherness. Okay...so the comparison of people to wet toilet paper isn't exactly flattering, but it aptly describes how I feel right now.
Through recent posts, I've picked up several new "followers" on this blog. You need to know I pray over each and every one of you. This week, my prayer is for you to find a place where your unique gifts, talents, abilities and interests join together with others in an "up close and personal" way. Internet connections, social networking sites, and blogging comments are no substitute for real people who will irritate you, bless you, and require more of your heart than typed comments from the safety of your laptop.
Until next time,