Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shoulder to Shoulder

"I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder." Zephaniah 3:9 NIV

Opposites attract. That's a good thing since my husband and I couldn't be more opposite if we tried. If we took a compatibility test, I think we'd score "incompatible". I like to be alone. He likes to surround himself with people. I work best in peace and quiet. He always works with background noise. I'm a morning person. He's a night owl. Chaos paralyzes me while it quickly mobilizes him to visualize order in the midst of it. Yet, we've survived our incompatibilities for over 30 years. Maybe it's because where one of us lacks the other excels and it all balances out somehow.

The hardest thing for me to get used to in our marriage has been his need to work with me, shoulder to shoulder. When he sets out to do something on my "honey do" list and it becomes frustrating for him, he'll yell from wherever he is, "Dawn, can you give me some help?" Of course, being the good wife that I am, I drop everything and run to his side, but not without mumbling under my breath. "If I could do it myself, I wouldn't have put it on the 'honey do' list in the first place," I complain. What use to frustrate me more was that more times than not, there wasn't anything I could do to help. But, he still wanted me there...standing shoulder to shoulder.

It took a few years to finally understand that he wasn't so much looking for my physical or academic help to figure out a problem. Rather, he just needed my emotional support in a difficult or frustrating situation. And the funny thing is, his whole attitude, demeanor changes after I show up because he knows he's not alone.

This picture of working shoulder to shoulder is exactly what God envisioned for his church. He's all about community; all about working together. He didn't expect us to be lone rangers, working things out alone. Rather he intended us to join forces, gather our abilities, our talents, our support to work alongside each other in whatever task we are doing.

Some of us may be opposites, but we all play a significant role in God's kingdom. Together, working shoulder to shoulder we can accomplish great things.

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