Leaving work a few weeks ago, I noticed two bike riders approaching the stoplight on 12th and Bellevue Way. Single file in traffic, they pulled up side by side at the intersection. They slowed down carefully, avoiding a full stop, to keep from losing momentum and putting a foot down on the pavement.
One of the riders began to wobble precariously, and as he was losing his balance, the other biker reached over and steadied him, keeping him from tipping over, until the light changed and they got moving again. Once the rider regained control of his bicycle, his friend let go, and they continued their journey—together.
We all lose our balance at times – if not on a bike, in life. Our deacon can be that rider beside us, who reaches out to keep us from falling, helping us to regain our balance.
When I was newly married and just a year into seminary, my husband and I were knocked off balance by the sudden discovery of a mass in my brain, leading to emergency brain surgery and a long and difficult recovery. The church we belonged to had a small but effective group of deacons who appeared at our sides, keeping us from crashing to the ground. They brought hugs and company, hand-picked flowers and a hand-stitched quilt, notes, a meal, a phone call. Small things, I suppose, but I remember them as bright lights of love and connection amidst a consuming darkness. In a time when my family’s balance was tested, those deacons reached out and steadied us, more than a few times, as we scrambled to get our footing and get on our way. (more…)