By Ashley Kuczynski
“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. “
For the past several weeks that line from the Elton John song “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” has been on repeat in my head because, well… someone did. About six weeks ago I suffered from a nearly fatal health condition and if it were not for my close relationships with family, friends, and coworkers, I would not be perfectly healthy today and sharing my story.
In short, when my parents, peers, and colleagues were unable to find me and I appeared to be missing, a “mini search party” went looking for me. This sobering and life-changing experience has turned my thoughts to the invaluable quality and priceless importance of… COMMUNITY. Had it not been for my relationships with other people and my connection to them, my absence would have gone unnoticed.
During the weeks that accompanied my recovery, the phone calls, text messages, conversations, visits, and more that I received made me feel extremely loved and valuable. I have pondered the place these people have in my life and realized that their significance goes far beyond simply people that I know or mere acquaintances. We are a part of the same community. For years we have gone to church together, served together, studied God’s word together, and been a part of something that is bigger than anything we could have accomplished separately.
At Grace Family Church we are constantly encouraged to get connected, be a part of a small group, and to serve. While I have done these things for years I had largely underestimated their worth and impact.
Jesus modeled the example of community by establishing a group of individuals that were his family. He led them, loved them, trusted them, and confided in them. What’s more is that collectively they served, loved, and ministered to others together while also supporting one another. Where one was weak, another was strong.
We get to be a part of a community just as Jesus and his disciples were. In the midst of a most helpless time, it was my community and my group of people who stepped in and loved and supported me. I am in awe that we not only get to be the hands and feet of Jesus but that we also get to experience it when others are too.
Being rooted and established among a network of trusted friends has been life altering. It has created a place of freedom, acceptance, and rest… a place where we share and support in each other’s struggles and sins but also in one another’s celebrations and triumphs. There is power in knowing that I’m not alone. This has spurred me to love others better, to bring them into my community, and aide them in establishing their own.
I am now more intentional about giving away love, kindness, and a helping hand. The love of others towards me has increased and propelled a love for others from me. God created us to need each other and with an affinity for love and support from one another. When we have this, we thrive.
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”