Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Little Help from My...Friends?...

Lake Erie coming back to life

Last week when I wrote about miracles being neither pretty nor easy, I mentioned the story of Lazarus, and then just this past weekend, he came up again (no pun intended).

Whenever I've heard this particular miracle story discussed, it's always about the dying and rising aspects, but this weekend, a priest discussed the community aspect of the story and it kinda blew me away.

We are meant to help one another; it is the whole reason we are here, he started out.  He went on to focus on the very end of the Lazarus bit, where Christ tells all the people standing around to undo the now alive Lazarus' bindings and take off the bandages around his head and to "let him go."

The priest asked (and I am paraphrasing), "In what way are you bound? What is the dark tomb inside of you? How do you need the help of others?"


If my hands and feet are bound, I cannot undo those bindings by myself. I have to ask for help. I have to be offered help.

But help is something that few of us are accustomed to asking for or accepting. We have been raised in a culture that prizes self-reliance above all else.  A culture that tells us to never "hang out our dirty laundry."

I am a proud person who thinks those two qualities -- self-reliance and privacy -- are part of integrity, dignity, adulthood.

But perhaps, perhaps, it is all just stubbornness.  A refusal to open up to others, to be vulnerable, to trust.

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