As I read Psalm 59 each day I am mindful of God’s constant presence and support which has many manifestations and faces. In Nan C. Merrill’s translation of what is Verse 10 and 11, the psalmist says, “You stand with me” and “teach me to let go of my fears.” I think of the many people who have stood by me when I was troubled, who gave me support to face fears, whether real or illusive.
I think of the two women I have lived with over the last 14 years, in our mission in Kenya. Sia, Giang and I lived as an intentional intercultural community, learning each day what it meant to live with our differences in community with each voice being heard. It is a life-long process and learning does happen each day if we are open, but many days I spent wrestling with my own fears and illusions. I hardly knew them to name them. But as we shared life together, reflected on our experience together, listened to the other’s perspective, I grew to understand myself better, to understand my fears, my desires, my beliefs and how I had been taught to live a certain way. With a greater understanding of myself, I can now face fears, and make choices that give me life.
For fourteen years, even today as we are not physically together, we stand with each other in community. Life is messy and life is celebratory, we had joy as much as pain. I am able to face my fears, my desires, and my beliefs more whole-hearted today because these two women stood with me, and I with them.
I am so grateful for the many others that have or do stand with me even today. No one of us can face life alone. Who do you stand with? Who stands with you?