Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly…
1 Peter 4:8
Yesterday, Jonah had a crudey hockey game. He didn’t play horrible, but he got trampled and scored on 10 times. In goalie land, that stinks. And it feels stinky. I walked into the locker room after the game to find my son with his head hung down, still sitting with all his pads on. He looked tired and defeated.
I tried to encourage him, build him up. He’s still relatively new at this hockey thing. He played hard and stopped a million shots. He’ll get ’em next time. All my words and encouragement were good and maybe even helpful, but only made so much of a difference. He still sat slumped over and dejected.
And then…light. A puck landed square in Jonah’s lap. I looked up to see a skinny little hockey teammate. He slapped Jonah on the shoulder and said, “Good job, Jonah. We’re lucky to have you, man. I’ve been there. It’s hard.”
He went back to have a seat. Jonah turned the puck over. Written on the puck was the word “WOW” in boy handwriting. Jonah looked up at me and said, “Where are we eating dinner? I’m hungry.” And I knew he would be just fine.
Someone – nay, a teammate, a comrade – lifted him up. He said in a thousand different ways, “We’re in this together.”
What a difference together makes.
There are dark and difficult times in life. There are also just moderately junky days, embarrassing moments, and times we feel let down or like we let everyone around us down. What makes the difference?
God created the church for a purpose. He’s a God of relationship. When those around us rally and take a moment to recognize that we aren’t an island, we aren’t a ship tossed alone at sea, but we are a body, built and knit together in Him, this is how we reach around us. Who are the ones that need to hear “I’ve been there. It hurts. But you’re not in this alone.”? Who is waiting to have the puck land in their lap and to be lifted up by the acceptance and warmth of the team?
Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s your pastor, maybe it’s one of the youth, maybe it’s your grouchy neighbor. There is One who has walked the dusty road, who knows what it’s like. Who embraces us because He loves that which is broken, not just to fix it, but because it is broken and he sees Together in broken.
Either way, sister, brother, you are not alone.
We are in this together.
Jonah carried that puck around with him all day today. I think he learned this life lesson long before I ever did. He can move forward. He’s ready to be all in, because he’s not in it alone.