Recently, I have been thinking about our need for others. I was talking with Alissa about her question in her sermon, if we don’t need an abundance of possessions, what do we need an abundance of? I asked Alissa what her answer was and she named a bunch of things and then she said,” an abundance of need for others.” All my internal alarms went off - that sounded awful, that is not the abundance I am looking for in my life. Yet, upon further reflection I had to admit to myself that, whether I like it or not, that need is very real.
Since, I struggle with asking for help or bringing my need to others, I know that I have to push myself and push against my own resistance. Just because it doesn’t feel good for me to rely on others doesn’t mean I don’t need others and that it won’t ultimately bless my life and deepen my connection with God. We need God and we need each other. How do we go about facing this truth and cultivating our relationship to God and others?
I think one answer to this question could be to be a part of a small group, which we are planning to launch at St. C’s this fall. A small group is simply a group of people who are committed to meeting together on a regular basis. This group can meet around a book, a cause, a spiritual practice, or be focused on a particular season of life or question. It is in these groups that we have an opportunity to care deeply for one another and be open to our need for God and each other.
When I first moved to Tacoma and was pregnant with my first child I knew I was going to have some big needs. I had a need for community, a need for support, and a need to have some fun outside of my family. So when I had an opportunity to meet with a group of women around the book, Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, I jumped on it. We have now been meeting for almost three years. I know that these women have my back. If one of us is in a pinch and needs someone to watch our kids or pick us up on the side of the road we know someone will be there.
When Luke and I were planning for Jackson’s labor we weren’t sure what we were going to do with Cascade. We couldn’t exactly plan when Jackson would come, whether it was 10am on a Monday or 2am on Thursday. How could someone plan on taking Cascade? But I tentatively brought it up to these women and immediately two of them said that they could be available any time and any day. One of them was a teacher and it happened to be over her spring break and the other one worked from home. They were basically available 24hrs a day for the week around Jackson’s due date. To me, it felt like too much, but I needed them and they were there.
Sometimes life feels like too much and we need each other and we need someone to be there. I am hoping that these small groups can be a place where we can actively support each other through the ups and downs of life. If you are interested in joining a small group please let me know! I am going to be putting together some groups for this fall. More information to come soon.