About two weeks ago, I had a baby. This being my fourth child, I know what to expect for the first several weeks – lack of sleep, fatigue, recovery, and often one day seeming to run into the next (My husband and I are constantly asking each other “What day is it again?”)
Having three vibrant, energetic girls already who wake up between 6:30-7am ready to attack the day with exuberance is a beautiful challenge in this short but intense season of our lives with a newborn. I have learned from previous births how much I need to lean on others to support me in this time.
I simply can’t do it on my own.
The last two weeks, I have been overwhelmed with the amount of help I have received from family, friends, and neighbors who have cared for the girls, brought us meals and groceries, stopped by to hold my baby for awhile while he is fussy, or just popped by our home to say hello because they know I’m in the house much of the day.
I can’t over-emphasize my need for these precious people or my appreciation for each one of them.
No Man is An Island
Poet John Donne wrote the famous words:
“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main…”
Indeed, we are all in need of one another regardless of how independent we may pride ourselves in being. Often it can take illness, crisis, or a significant trial to reveal to us just how much we need those around us.
A significant part of the Christian life is acknowledging with humility, “I need community. I need the Body of Christ.”
There is no perfect church. There are no perfect people. And because all people are full of flaws and weaknesses, we are simply going to rub each other the wrong way at times. It’s part of life.
Regardless of whether you’ve been hurt by others in the past (who hasn’t?), Christ still said that we need each other, wounds and all. In fact, He prayed with passion that “All of them (meaning the Church) might be ONE, Father, just as you are in me..” (John 17:21).
If we say we love Christ, we need to love each other. And we can’t really love others if we don’t let them into our lives – perhaps even in our most vulnerable states.
Letting People In
As I sit on my couch I look at my front door, which remains open most of the time these days. Sometimes people come in when I’m unprepared. Sometimes, I’m not in the best mood to greet them. But I have found that my life is richer and fuller for letting people serve me in my times of need and from those times that others have allowed me to serve them as well.
No man is an island – have you made yourself one, though? Who has been there for you in your times of need? Have you told them how much you do need them?
If you’ve camped out on an island for awhile, thinking, “I can do this on my own,” take some time to re-evaluate. When you isolate yourself, no one benefits.
Whatever you are going through right now, you don’t have to go through it alone. Make a choice to get in a boat and cross on over to the main land. You’ll be glad that you did.