We can’t be our best as people when we stand alone

Being a pastor often puts me in a position to walk with people who struggle or experience pain.

  • Sunday, April 8, 2018 5:30am
  • Life
We can’t be our best as people when we stand alone

Being a pastor often puts me in a position to walk with people and to share with them while they are in a struggle or experiencing deep pain.

Recently I had the opportunity to be with a family as a loved one was facing death. It is the toughest time for a family. It is certainly not the easiest time for me to be with a family.

Many times I don’t have words to say, or know what to do. Even being seminary trained, I still find there are no easy answers.

What I have learned is that simply being present to listen, to watch or to just be is the best gift I can offer in times of loss or struggle.

This got me thinking that maybe we need this idea of “being with” each other in a broader context of community. There are so many other kinds of losses: health, employment, housing, sobriety, freedom and self-respect. Traumatic loss can destroy families and undermine one’s sense of personhood.

People simply were not created to be alone. We need to know each other. We need to take the time to be there for one another: to see people as something other than a stranger and to recognize that anyone of us can find ourselves fragile and broken needing the support of another.

Maybe if we could see each other in this way, we would want better for each other. We might do our part to make things better. We could see people as having infinite value even if we don’t always vote like them or politically agree with them or even believe as they do. Maybe we would learn to fear people less and treasure people more so we might want the best for each other.

Maybe we would begin to see our communities as places where all might thrive; where there doesn’t always need to be winners and losers, but where we can acknowledge our common lives and create better dreams.

We are at our best when we are willing to walk with one another, stand for one another and do our best for one another. When we begin to place ourselves in the shoes of “the other,” we can better realize that we have so much more in common than we might otherwise see. We are so fragile. But when we are together, we become less vulnerable. We might even dare to hope.

I don’t know about you, but it feels like the time of the year where the call to walk with one another is now and can be heard more boldly. We have just experienced the city being called together in a citywide Good Friday service, where many faith communities came together as one to ask forgiveness, and to be a bit more merciful, looking to the cross of Christ with hope.

The upcoming Stacks Take Over will raise funds to help families in need of practical items and will impart a sense of compassion for all who participate. The March against Human Trafficking on May 19 will empower us all the more to break the chains of evil and to free our brothers and sisters who have been held too long in fear and despair.

We can’t be our best as people when we stand alone. We need each other to live. In the face of illness, in the face of poverty, in the face of death, in the face of homelessness, amid the challenge of diversity, when overrun by adversity or any of the heartbreaking and life-altering issues humans need, we must be willing to stand together. Any less is possible; it is just less than human.

We must be better, we can be better. Join with me. Stand.

David Johnson is the pastor at TriWorship Covenant Church – Multi Ethnic Faith Community. He can be contacted at 206-861-3844, daaron2001@gmail.com and on Twitter at @Daaron1980.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Bruce Honda
Upcoming events to honor Juneteenth holiday in Federal Way

Juneteenth flag raising at city hall, Phenomenal She nonprofit event at Town Square Park, farmers market resource showcase and more.

Kathie Nguyen embraces Eileen & Callie's Place founder Dr. Natalie Ellington. Celebrate 18!, hosted on July 13, 2019, was also the day of Ellington's birthday. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Nonprofit to host birthday party for girls aging out of the foster care system

Eileen & Callie’s Place is hosting Celebrate 18!, a celebration and resource event, Saturday, July 17.

Photo courtesy of Vickie Chynoweth
Well-fed from the Federal Way Farmers Market: Pickled asparagus

Recipe of the week includes asparagus and garlic from the Saturday market.

Courtesy screenshot
MSC Crab Feed raises over $86K to help local residents

The Multi-Service Center event was held June 5.

Photo courtesy of Vickie Chynoweth
Well-fed from the Federal Way Farmers Market: French onion soup with cheesy bread strips

Recipe of the Week features vegetables, cheeses from local Saturday market.

LaMont Atkinson Jr. Courtesy photo
Army musician reports for duty in Federal Way

LaMont Atkinson can be found every weekend as the DJ of the Federal Way Farmers Market.

2021 Kia Sorento X-Line AWD. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Kia Sorento X-Line AWD

By Larry Lark, contributor Kia’s fourth-generation Sorrento sports utility vehicle is a… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes Benz GLB250 4MATIC. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Mercedes Benz GLB250 4MATIC

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 GLB250 4MATIC is a brand-spanking new… Continue reading

Kiddus Fecto. Photo courtesy of the Museum of Pop Culture
MoPOP’s Sound Off! contest showcases local Federal Way talent

Kiddus Fecto, 21, is among eight performers of the museum’s 20th annual event on May 15.

Most Read