Tag Archives: support

Flyer or Base

 So encourage each other and give each other strength, just as you are doing now.

I Thessalonians 5:11 (NCV) 

My granddaughter, Tori, celebrated her 16th birthday this week, passing her driving test today. Look out world, here comes T! Since she was 7, this girl has been willing to test gravity and take on challenges through the sport of cheerleading. What started as a fun class with a friend in second grade has developed into the position of co-captain of her high school junior varsity cheerleading team.

When she first began, she was a tiny girl with a brave heart, and she learned how to be a flyer. If you watch the stunts that cheerleaders perform, the flyer is the one on the hands, knees, and shoulders of her teammates with arms outstretched, back arched, and a big smile on her face. But for a flyer, it’s all about balance and trust. One bobble, one slip of a hand, one missed cue, and the flyer comes tumbling down, hopefully without injury.

The girls holding her up are the base. Their strength and concentration serve to keep the flyer in the air. Without a coordinated effort between the girls composing the base, the flyer can’t get a footing to complete her part of the stunt. And, it all requires practice, practice, practice.

As Tori grew, her role changed from flyer to base. It was hard to give up that flyer role because that’s the “fun” part, but she was needed in the supportive role of base. Having been on both sides of the stunt, she knows the importance of both roles and plays a leadership role, gaining the respect of her peers.

So are you a flyer or a base? No, not in cheerleading but in your daily life. Are you the upfront person or the behind-the-scenes person?

At different times in my life, I enjoyed both leading and speaking…I was the face of the group. But, there have been seasons when I emptied the wastebaskets, set up the room, took care of the children, or cleaned up the kitchen. I know how much I depend on the church office for support for the Bible Study I currently facilitate. I don’t fret that the flyers will be printed, the tables and chairs set up, and that the equipment will work when I open the door because I know it will be done.

The body of Christ needs each of us to fulfill our roles and do our part so that the Gospel is proclaimed and Jesus is praised. We need each other when life is easy and then turns hard… when we celebrate and when we mourn…when we are on the mountain top or in the valley. We need the support to give us balance and then our job is to trust in God for the next step.

We all have gifting for certain roles but how do you respond when that role changes? Rather than becoming discouraged or frustrated, do you accept with humility the role God has for you today? This may be a permanent position or only for a season but our response is key. Others will be watching. God has a job that only you can fill. He has equipped you, so revel in it and give Him the praise.

 

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Gleanings

 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough. Ruth 2:17-18 (NIV)

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My daughter encouraged me to read the book, Giddy Up, Eunice – Because Women Need Each Other. It’s written by Sophie Hudson and it’s a good thing I have a husband from the South or she might intimidate me with all her Southern analogies. Her writing is downright funny. Being a California girl but raised by a mom who had some southern leanings, I get ‘most of what she is saying. And, because I love mentoring young moms, I’m always looking for ways to help them know that tomorrow is another day and they will make it.

Several chapters are about the story of Naomi and Ruth. I’d never given much thought to the idea of “gleanings” but learned from the book the importance of those leftover pieces of grain, dropped by the main harvesters, to those who followed behind. For some, it was life and death, starvation or a full stomach — such was the story of Ruth.

But the “gleanings” part started me thinking. Days are full, calendars are crammed, chores never completely done. Children are calling, husbands need attention, laundry and food preparation seem endless. How do we meet the needs of those “following behind”? How do we use our leftover bits of time to meet the needs of a fellow traveler and friend?

Start by paying attention to more than just your little world. Listen to comments as you wait to pick up kids, notice Facebook or Instagram posts that indicate a family in need. (Think of flooding in Baton Rouge.) Check the prayer requests from your church. Be aware!

When God nudges you to remember a person, send a text or email to let them know you are thinking and praying for them. Drop a card in the mail. Make dinner and drop off in disposable containers. Take a turn at the hospital so they can get outside for a little fresh air.

Mark has been hospitalized several times in our married life for one thing or another. Normally, I’m alone in the waiting room or his hospital room for the duration. At times, I prefer it so that I don’t have to worry about conversation. But I will never forget the time that he was in the emergency room waiting for a room to become available, and I walked into the lobby to see all the members of my small group there to support us. What a surprise and joy! One immediately asked me what I wanted to eat from In-n-Out. (I was starving but the dining room had closed for the night.) Those wonderful people gave up a couple of hours one evening and blessed me beyond words.

Gleanings are usually simple, love-filled offerings from one heart to another. It doesn’t have to be grand. It usually happens on the spur of the moment. The only requirement is to pay attention and offer your love and support. All will be blessed.

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Support Hand

 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

I Corinthians 12:19-22 (NLT)

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I have two “little” grandgirlies, one toddler and one pre-schooler. It’s interesting to watch them develop handedness, one of many skills learned in these early years. They go back and forth between right and left at will. I think one will be left handed, maybe both. I’m so right handed that I can’t imagine it.

Last week I had surgery on my left thumb as a result of arthritis — so now I have matching thumbs. The right thumb was a far more difficult recovery so I expected that this time it would be much simpler. I was wrong. 

The left hand is my support hand and it’s all bandaged up and useless. Try cracking an egg or putting toothpaste on your toothbrush. I’ve dropped things, broken bottles, and basically just had it to hand it to Mark with a smile and, “Please.” Getting dressed is a challenge. I need that left hand to assist or finish the task.

The Apostle Paul writes a letter to the church in Corinth, a group of new believers, who had many questions. One lesson explained the structure of the church and roles that needed to be filled to accomplish the work Christ had set before them. He used the illustration of the body to explain how we are intricately fashioned to function as a whole but made up of various parts. No one part can dominate or the whole will malfunction. And sometimes we discover some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

I have a much greater appreciation for wounded warriors that come home missing an arm. I appreciate, too, the church janitor, the volunteer secretary that answers the phones, and the music librarians — not much glory in those jobs but so crucial.

I know that my hand will soon be healed and useful to me again. But, it’s been a good week for me to remember and appreciate all of those around me who step in when I need a hand.

Thank you.

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