Together is the one word prompt for #wholemama this week. Together is a word that suggests community. No one needs to be alone all the time. We need to look out for each other. We are always better together
“Two are better than one,” the scripture says in Ecclesiastes 4, and further down in that same chapter we read this statement. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
What does it mean to be together?
What is this three cord strand?
We spend most of our lives with other people around, but that is not necessarily what together means. There can be a crowd of people around us and yet we might still feel alone. We are not really together even though we may be in close proximity.
Often we would like to be alone and there is nothing wrong with that. We need times away from people. Even Jesus went off by himself to pray. We need alone time, but we also need community. We were not meant to live in isolation.
What does it mean to be together?
When people are working towards a common goal they don’t really have to be in the same room or even the same town together. With the technology available today we can lock arms with each other even though we are are miles apart. Some say that these long distance friendships are not real, but I have come to a different conclusion.
There was a time not so long ago that I didn’t have much contact with other women locally, but my internet friends were there to encourage me. In those early months of beginning to blog, there were those who gave constructive criticism and helped me to pursue more writing. They encouraged me to keep on even when I would doubt my ability.
We were together virtually sometimes by email, sometimes by video calls, sometimes by instant messaging. They were there for me and I for them when it was impossible to meet in person. Now I am in a few online groups specifically for writers. In each we seek to build each other up and together serve our God.
One such group is Whole Mama.
When I think of these mothers I see a group of women who write to share their lives and encourage one another. We are at varied ages and stages of motherhood, but those differences don’t seem to matter. There is room for all. We learn from each other. Not only that, but we can empathize no matter what stage of parenting we find ourselves in. I’ve actually been able to meet some of them in person which was a real treat.
In a couple of other groups we cheer each other on by sharing prayer requests, reading and commenting on our blogs, by setting goals and checking on how we progress. We all rally around when one needs extra support and brainstorm about book covers and titles. Sometimes we lend our services as beta readers for those who write books.
We look for ways to include and encourage each member. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several of those women also. It has been fun to find others who live fairly near me so we can get together on a regular basis.
A family is another way to experience togetherness.
Most of the time in a family we don’t get to choose who our parents or siblings will be or if we will even have siblings. We learn to get along, to share, to solve problems and to work together to accomplish certain goals. Of course there will be disagreements and battles, but we’re kind of stuck with each other so we try hard to resolve differences so we can live in peace. Love binds us together even when seemingly heading in different directions. At least that is true in my own extended family.
Meeting together with others to worship God is another form of being together.
Whether we meet at church, in Bible studies or have fellowship in our homes, we are stronger when we support each other in prayer and in material and emotional ways. Even when I meet my friends for lunch or breakfast at a restaurant we are in a sense worshiping God. We share our prayer requests and praises. We rejoice and cry together pleading before God on behalf of each other. Yes, we are stronger together than when we are alone.
So what is this three cord strand?
I’ve heard it said that the Holy Spirit is the third cord that binds us together, and that is true. But I wonder also if love couldn’t be that third band. Love is strong and can overlook petty differences. When everything else fails, love still remains.
Scriptures tell us that God is love.
Love is the one common thread woven throughout each of the relationships mentioned above. It is not just a feeling. We show this love by actions and words. It’s the love that comes first from God who then enables us to reach out in love to one another.
I believe God is the strong cord that draws us together in love.
He wants to see us uniting to share that love with everyone no matter their color, race, hairstyle, clothing choices, etc. That kind of love enables us to sit together and listen to each other. It enables us to have the hard conversations and show kindness. That kind of love will lead to reconciliation.
That kind of love will bring us together.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.