“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
They didn’t ask to be chosen, and they likely would have turned tail and run if they had any warning that they were about to be chosen. But each, at different times, and certainly by divine appointment, made my acquaintance and have forever made an imprint on my life. So much so that in my darkest hours, their names came to my mind. I needed help. Was desperate for it. I needed a fresh word of truth. I needed those with understanding. Not normal understanding, mind you…. spiritual understanding that only comes with a deep and abiding relationship with the Father.
So out of desperation and intention I called to them… and they came. Each with their own experiences and knowledge. Each also a daughter of the Most High King created for such a time as this. Each having walked their own roads of desperation and triumph. All of them imperfectly perfect. In my mind and in my heart, they are My Five.
Today, as I walked the beach looking for treasures the ocean coughed up onto the shore, I noticed something about the particular beach I was walking. There were precious few flawless shells. Most of what I found were broken, worn, and damaged. Surfaces worn smooth from the rough surf. These pieces of shell and coral didn’t land here on this beautiful beach in pristine condition so that I might walk by, find them beautiful, and take them home. Their journey was hard fought.
I waded out into the surf until I was just ankle deep. That’s about the depth of the ocean I am comfortable with, but it was deep enough to find a plethora of these well worn ocean treasures.
I dug my feet deeper into the sand to keep from walking on their uneven surfaces, and with each new wave I felt a bit of what it took for each of them to get that far as more and more of them slammed into my legs. But as I looked into the crystal clear water, I began to appreciate the beauty.
We don’t often wind up at our destination in pristine condition. For most of us, our rough edges get worn down as we bump into others, rub up against circumstances, and navigate through the trials of this life. I thought of My Five.
I decided to reach down and pick out a piece of coral for each of them… maybe for them to use as a paperweight, or maybe to throw at me for insinuating that they are well worn. But I think they will know what I mean.
They are all beautiful women to look at, but it is not the outer beauty that draws me to them. I am drawn to the softened edges, the wisdom that comes from walking the hard roads and seeking it, and the heart of the Father that rests inside them all. And it’s as one of them often quotes, it’s “by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11) Therein lies their value to me.
So to My Five, how do I thank you for responding to my clarion call with such wisdom, prayer and truth? My undying gratitude and a well worn piece of coral, whose path was not unlike your own, for starters. The rest, I’ll have to work on. But if you ever send out a clarion call of your own… count me in.