I know it’s been said before and I’m sure it will be said again in the very near future by some pastor somewhere, “Life is better when it’s done in community.” While I agree with this statement and the idea behind it wholeheartedly, I have admittedly allowed this statement to become a bit cliche in my own life. I mean, I have friends, I’m an active member of a small group, I participate in group events at church, etc. I do all of the community things that I am “supposed” to check off the list regularly. However, if I’m being honest, these things have become very rote in my life.

This truth hit me like a second-degree sunburn last week. It was Rilee’s last day of kindergarten and the class party was to be held at the beach. Ashley and I both planned on attending but as my both of my children like to do just before big events, the little one got sick. So, Ashley opted to keep her at home and Rilee and I headed out to the beach for some fun in the sun.

When we got there I did what a responsible parent would do and sprayed her heavily with sunscreen. I also put some sunscreen on myself… well, sort of. As it turns out, the human body is not capable of bending, stretching, or collapsing enough to thoroughly apply sunscreen to all of the necessary areas of oneself. However, being an independent and self-sufficient idiot, I figured it was good enough. Fast forward 3 hours and we’re driving home from a great party with awesome people and I realize, I’m feeling a little crispy. No problem right, I’ve had a sunburn before. This one, however, was a little different. This burn was a bit more… freeform. I had lines, streaks, and burns in ways I’ve never seen before. This wasn’t a sunburn, it was an abstract impressionists SPF masterpiece. After hearing the laughter of many family members I realized, I probably should have been a little more humble and asked for some assistance.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” I think if Solomon were writing this today it would say something like, “Two people are better than one, for they can apply the sunscreen to that hard to reach spot in the middle of your back. If one person is burned, they can share each other’s aloe. But someone who puts sunscreen on alone is destined to be scrutinized and in pain.” Too soon, Solomon… too soon. 

The truth is, at the end of the day, we all need each other. And I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded of this often. Sometimes it’s as simple as a phone call from a friend, and sometimes, said reminder lasts a week and a half and ends with you shedding skin all over your house. So, who do you have in your life that has your back? At the beach, you probably need that person to take that job quite literally!

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