Separated Together: We really do need each other

There was a little book someone told me about  a while ago called, “We really do need each other,” by Rueben Welch. For years, Dr. Welch taught at Point Loma Nazarene University. The final chapter of his book describes a class excursion that went awry. The class had decided to take a hike together to a place called “Hennigar Flats,” a three mile hike up the side of a mountain.

Welch’s writes, “So they set the day, and made the sandwiches, and made the chocolate, and brought the cold drinks,  and the back packs, and they got all gathered up for the safari, and they started up the mountain – together. “But it wasn’t long until the strong, stalwart ones were up in front and the other ones were back in the middle, and way back at the end of the line was a girl named Jane – who was, you might say, out of shape.”

“…the people in the level above called down, ‘Come on up. It’s great up here.’ “And Jane yelled, ‘I don’t think I can make it.’ “And they hollered, ‘Yeah, you can. Try harder, come on up.’ “And every time they called to her, down went her own sense of worth, down went her own sense of value…“So the strong went on ahead, and the weak hung behind, and here was Jane. And she never made it to the top.”

Welch continues, “They decided that was no way to end the fellowship of that class, and they got together and decided to do it again. “But they made some new rules – it was everybody go or nobody go, and they were all going together. “So they set the day, and made the sandwiches, and made the chocolate, and brought the cold drinks, and the back packs,  and they got all gathered up for the safari, and they started up the mountain….

“It took them four hours to make it to the top, and the water was all gone, and the cold drinks were all gone, and the sandwiches were all gone, and the backpacks were empty, but they all made it, together.”

Welch’s point is, “…we’re all just people who need each other. We’re all learning, and we’ve all got a long journey ahead of us. We’ve got to go together. “And I dare say that by the time we get there, all the sandwiches will be gone,  and all the chocolate will be gone, and all the water will be gone,  and all the backpacks will be empty. But no matter how long it takes, we’ve got to go together. Because that’s how it is in the Body of Christ.”

That’s a great image, isn’t it? All of us going together. It’s not easy for humans to be separated. It’s doubly hard for Christians. Just look up all the “each-others” in Scripture.

God intended people in the church to be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith (Romans 1:12); have concern for each other (1 Corinthians 12:25); serve each other (Galatians 5:13);

build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11); encourage each other daily (Hebrews 3:13); and show brotherly love to each other (1 Peter 1:22).

Right now we are Separation Together. Because we really do need each other, don’t we?  It’s been over a month since the day of separation together. Today would be a really good day to FaceTime, Zoom, or call someone in your church and see how they’re doing. Before you end the call, say, “I want you to know that we’re in this together.”


Pray with me:

Lord, You have made us to need each other. Instead of asking You to soften my feelings of isolation today, I’m asking that You use me to soften someone else’s feelings of isolation. Call to my mind a member of my church who might not have the same strength of relationships as I do, and use me to encourage them today. In Jesus’ name, amen!


Pastor Don