In 2001, HBO released the excellent series Band of Brothers, the story of the 101st Airborne Division’s Easy Company and their time together from training through the end of the war. While it shows much about the horrors of war, for me, the movie was all about community and its importance in difficult times.
The series showed how they cared for each other, made each other laugh, and cried at what they were experiencing. In doing so, they made the unbearable something they could bear and get through.
No matter what difficulty you might be facing now, if you have a community to share it with—friends, family, work relationships, etc.— it will be easier to get through.
I thought about the show recently when I learned a good friend, who had been out of work longer than he anticipated, had finally been offered and accepted a new job. His first response was thankfulness to God for the opportunity, but he was also thankful to several of us who were part of his “community.” He mentioned to us that he saw us as his “band-of-brothers.”
What an honor to help make a difference in someone’s life! We rejoice with him in the same way we shared the difficulty. Community is not one-sided. Everyone helps each other. While we were there for him, he was there for us, and we’re all thankful for his presence in our lives.
I can tell you he gave of himself when I needed him, and he did so even though he was dealing with his own job search.
Helping each other and sharing burdens isn’t supposed to be out of the ordinary. It’s what we are commanded to do in Galatians 6:2—Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
If something difficult is happening in your life, do you have a community to lean on? Will they reach out to you when they hear about the difficulty in your life? My concern today is that many people don’t have a community to lean on. Everyone is too busy with their job, their career, and their kids’ school activities.
They just don’t have the time.
We all need community, which means we need relationships, and relationships are hard work. They are like beautiful flowers. They need someone to spend time with them to nurture their growth.
It’s easy to be connected with someone when your kids are in the same class together, but what happens when they go to different high schools? It’s easy when you work with someone, but what happens when one of you moves on to a different company? Staying connected takes time, and it’s more than just being friends on Facebook.
There is an old African Proverb that goes like this:
If you want to go fast – go alone.
If you want to go far – go together.
Make time in your life to build, maintain, and re-establish relationships. With a community, you’ll go far in this life, better prepared to deal with the difficulties you face along the way.