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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

I'm Behind You

When I made my living as a waitress, I quickly learned the value of three words spoken to fellow servers: “I’m behind you.”

No one wants to turn around and cannon into a tray brimming with hot coffee, Denver omelets, and oatmeal with raisins. Fifteen Cub Scouts and their troop leader get impatient when you have to re-scoop their ice cream because you dropped the original bowls on the floor after forgetting to tell the busboy, “I’m behind you.” It’s wise to let people know of a potential mess, so you both can avoid it.

As my husband was getting a pizza out of the oven recently, I walked behind him, carrying our salad bowls. Although 35 years have passed since I served food professionally, I still said, “I’m behind you.” When those three words hit the air, they gripped my heart in a new way. I was not simply telling Kevin to “watch out;” I was helping him succeed at his task of the moment. I was supporting him. And I was saving both of us a trip to the floor to clean up tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Thousand Island dressing.

We all need support, especially in the Church, where we operate as a body, and “should have equal concern for each other" (1 Corinthians 12:25). As we serve the Lord and those around us, our individual loads become lighter when we help each other carry them.

The second-wisest man who ever lived said it this way,

“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." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NIV)

The list of ways to get behind a brother or sister is endless:

  • Are you struggling to make ends meet on a stingy budget? If I slip a ten in your pocket, I’m behind you.
  • Do you doubt if your marriage can last one more night, or one more fight? If I listen and pray for strength for you, I’m behind you.
  • Is your kid making choices that break your heart? If I hug you and say “Don’t give up,” I’m behind you.
  • Are you afraid of what the doctor might find on the next test? If I pray for your healing and tell you “I love you,” I’m behind you.
  • Do you wonder where your dream got lost? If I encourage you to keep hoping, I’m behind you.

Rebuking and finding fault rarely motivate anyone to succeed. Most of us avoid critical, sour individuals. But we enjoy the company of people who bring out the best in us, helping us believe in ourselves and our dreams. We achieve things we thought impossible by having one or two caring friends say, “I’m behind you.”

You can be that friend to someone today. Instead of turning your back on a need or mocking a dream, be wise enough to say, “I’m behind you. Let me help you succeed.”

For us fellow servers, it will make the difference between messes to clean up or miracles to celebrate.

© Jeanette E. Levellie, 2010, used with permission.

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