Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)
TITLE: If One Person Falls
By Melanie Kerr
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I was teaching at a small private school in Cyprus at the time and as part of my duties I was required to join in excursions at the weekends laid on for the children in the boarding school. This particular weekend we headed for the mountains to play in the snow!
There were some among us who hurtled themselves off the top of the slope, and copying the moves they had watched on the television, hopped from side to side, down the mountain, in true Olympic style. That was not me. I am not particularly well co-ordinated and do not have a tremendous amount of courage.
One boy, Khalid, decided he really didn't want to ski. He made it is mission that day to follow me around and pick me up every time I fell over. He was kept quite busy. Quite busy? Let's just say that although I was fluent in roller skates, it did not translate well to skis. I spent a lot of time sitting down, although without Khalid's assistance I would have spent a lot more time sitting down. I was cold. I was wet. My ankles ached. All the time there was Khalid follwing me around to pick me up when I fell over.
The book of Ecclesiastes contains a beautiful picture of what friendship is all about.
"If one person falls the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble." (Ecc 4:10 NLT)
There are been many times in our Christian life when we fall over, or life's circumstances have pushed us over. Sometimes the fall knocks all the spiritual stuffing out of us, and we just sit there unable to lift ourselves up.
I was unemployed for a number of months and deeply depressed. I lost all confidence in myself and simply began to withdraw further and further away from my friends. I felt that I wasn't in God's will and that nothing was going right. I was unable to pull myself together. In the spiritual realm I had been one of those Christians hurtling myself off the slopes and hopping from side to side and never falling over! Now here I was coming apart at the seams and watching my life unravel before my eyes.
My friends stepped in. They lifted me up in their prayers, but they also found practical ways to get me back on my feet and build up my confidence. They were there to make sure that I knew that I was not alone.
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