Ruth & Naomi
Paul & Silas
Adam & Eve
Jesus sends the 12 Apostles out in pairs
Moses sends spies in pairs to scope out Canaan
So on our way to run a couple of errands this morning my sweetie and I went to daily Mass. Today’s readings include a pithy version of the story of Ruth and Naomi. Long story short Naomi’s husband and all their sons all die, one son is Ruth’s husband. The other wives go back to their families. Ruth stays by Naomi’s side and becomes the grandmother to Obed, and ultimately a great, great, great grandmother of Jesus.
Often when life is down right hard, dark, and deeply lonely we pull back, creating a deeper, darker, lonelier place. It’s not the place we want to go, we go there for reasons probably related to shame because being honest in our need is never easy. This pulling away breeds a sense of not being worthy, not being good enough, not being enough. There is a longing to be connected with the different communities we belong to: friends, coworkers, faith.
I know this as I’ve done this. I’ve pulled back. I haven’t wanted to burden friends and family with the crap happening in my own life. And yet, I’ve lovingly chided friends for not sharing with me to help lighten their own load. I’ve also had to pull back on the career path that brings life. Ouch. Like really. Ouch. (To be clear, I’m not there right now.)
At the moment we most need community we are often at our loneliest, neediest, and the most sensitive. Raw. In pain. We long for people to walk with us, along side, next to. Like Ruth for Naomi; Silas for Paul. Someone to talk to, to listen, to help bear the difficulty of that moment. This one that we walk with may be our defender.
A long time friend and I recently chatted about this very thing, friendship, reaching out, supporting one another. We don’t talk often enough, that’s for dang sure. She lovingly reminded me that, as we’re both in the midst of some big life changes, that she simply wanted to see, and spend some time with me. I dragged my feet for so long, as a result I missed an opportunity to spend some time in her physical presence. No I’m not beating myself up over this. Her words simply made me realize that a focus shift is necessary.
And I reminded her of something important. She thanked me for the reality check. Having her to walk with over these long years is a gift, that is still being explored, and enjoyed. Walking with her enriches both of us so much. Later in the week another opportunity to walk with someone came along, and I took it.
I’d been considering leaving the sewing/quilting world for a while. But the gut check wouldn’t let me. I know this is where I want, and need to be. This new work will keep me here, working on things I love and growing. Dear friends who have known what’s going on, thank you all for walking with me through this. Your friendship and support has helped so much. ❤
Thank you Lord, for this gift and talent, may I ever use it to honor you, to support and encourage other quilters, and sewers.