Remember the CBS show NUM3ERS? That was a great show. I loved every episode. How Charlie showed his big brother Don that crimes don’t have to be solved with force. That sometimes brains are better than brawn. That while human nature is unpredictable, numbers are always reliable.
Y’all know my theory of One. It’s pretty much the best number in the world, because it’s a beginning. A start. The foundation upon which anything else is built. Because I’m not God, I can’t create something out of nothing. I need to add to what’s already there.
Yeah. I really like the number One.
This week’s Five Things Friday takes a bit of a different turn. Instead of listing tangible Things, it’s more of a this-is-what-I-think-and-feel post.
It started last week when the worlds of several friends began to crumble. A death. A divorce. A sickness. Compounded by the typical wearing-down that life can bring. We prayed with each other. For each other. We reached out, we accepted. And it’s been a great comfort. We found security in not being alone. We found Safety in Numbers.
People need people. We need to know we matter especially to those who matter to us. A “hi” here, a cup of coffee there. A friendly text or phone call. Reaching out is one of the greatest things we can do for someone else. Even if we’re hurting. Even if we’re struggling in some way (and who isn’t)?
People need people.
Reaching out takes the focus off ourselves and lets someone else know they’re not alone. Their situation is unique. They are one-of-a-kind. But they (YOU) are not alone. And reaching out bonds us together. It gives us that fortitude we need to continue.
And let’s face it… when someone reaches out to you, doesn’t it make you smile, just a little? Even if they don’t get it. Even if they can’t comprehend what you’re going through. Even when no one else knows what’s happening in your world. Doesn’t it make it better when someone comes alongside you for a bit of the journey?
So what are you waiting for? Be that person for someone else! I like asking the hard questions. “How are you, really?” “What’s honestly going on?” “Did this or that get resolved?” “What are you thinking right this moment?” I like being a person that others can trust, want to trust. I like being a person others can reach out to when they don’t think they have someone. I like being a friend.
I like being a friend.
In Matthew 18:20 Jesus tells us, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Certainly, our relationship with God is singularly individual. But it’s also communal. Just as you have a singularly individual relationship with your spouse, each child, each friend, and everyone who crosses your path. You’re One. I’m One. And together, we’re more.
Your efforts may not be returned. They may be ignored or worse, trampled upon. They’re still important. If for no reason other than you’re capable of showing compassion.
That’s my first for this Five Things Friday. To tell you how important you are.
You matter. Period.
2. Just a thought, but who’s more protected: someone with one person on her side, or the one with ten? Do you walk a dark street at night alone if you don’t have to? Do you make the tough decisions without talking to anyone else first? Would you rather send one person into battle or a hundred? I find great Safety in Numbers. Great comfort, joy, fun, and encouragement. I’m a bit of an awkward social butterfly, but I do so love going out and meeting people.
3. I enjoy cooking big. Most times, it’s just for me and Dot. But I love those once-a-week cooking moments that provide great leftovers (and fewer cleanups!). I’d rather cook four chicken breasts at once and know she has lunch ready the next day, and often, dinner as well. I’d rather make a huge pot of soup and freeze half of it for later. Less dishes, more family time. And I’m a Big Fan of the grab-and-go ease of having something already prepared for my own lunch. I’m not so big on making lunch myself each morning.
4. My friend Danny helped push me toward self-publication two years ago with this great comment:
“Would you rather write something that five million people read once, or something that five people read a million times?”
In all honesty, the latter. And so if my niche is a smaller market, I’m okay with that. Five million is a big number. And to be recognized by five million readers would be spectacular, being remembered forever by five is a big more wonderful. Sometimes there’s Safety in (Smaller) Numbers, too.
5. One is a great number. It’s the start to everything. But it’s not the conclusion. You can’t have a collection of something if you only have one. “How do you like my spoon?” or “What do you think of my stamp?” just isn’t as special as an assortment. That doesn’t mean you have to collect everything. I love Jim Shore Disney miniatures, but only certain ones. I adore coffee mugs. I stopped collecting cats after Sparkles became the fifth member of our fur family.
I also think it’s a bit punny that this post should be under the “Five Things Friday” umbrella. I guess there really is Safety in Numbers.
Where do you find Safety in Numbers?
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!
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