Hold Me Now
Updated: Jun 28, 2022
For decades, youth groups and team-building consultants around the world have depended on “trust walks” and “falling” in a circle to build camaraderie and trust. These activities are usually most frightening when a person is blindfolded and being led around by another (trust walk) or is standing in the center of the circle, gently falling and hoping the team will safely hold them and move them around. The comfort or fear experienced in this game depends on whether the other team members hold up the person who is depending on them. Galatians 6:1-10 challenges us to hold one another up, even when someone has fallen short or committed a transgression. “Bear one another’s burdens,” the scripture advises, even as it reminds us to carry our own loads. The Thompson Twins sang "Hold Me Now" in the 1980s, lamenting on a relationship filled with disagreements and disputes but overlaid with love and forgiveness. Ultimately, they sang with simple yearning what Paul writes of: "Hold me now." "Bear one another's burdens." "Hold each other up." There is a paradox in building healthy relationships. We depend on one another while simultaneously taking responsibility for one’s own life and faith journey. We hold one another up while setting boundaries so that we’re not carrying the burden another should carry for themselves. We hold one another now with love and forgiveness, even if we've hurt one another in the past. We bear the burdens together but also carry our own loads.
Ask a marriage counselor to explain this in terms of percentages, and they’ll laugh because it’s never going to be an equal 50-50. Sometimes we’re carrying more than our share of the load. Other times, we’re more dependent and needy than we ever thought possible. But as we ebb and flow between the two, we build healthy, interdependent relationships with our families and faith communities. This scripture is a wonderful place to re-visit if we’re wondering if we’ve gone too far in one direction or the other, for it reminds us to both hold others and be held in return. By embracing this challenge, we travel a road that brings protection and safety to ourselves and to one another. We also bring growth and life, as we sow seeds of trust in one another and in the Holy Spirit who binds us together. If the journey is feeling tiresome, it might be time to lean on someone else for a change. If the journey is always an easy one, it might be time to reach out and help others along the way.
In healthy relationships, we hold each other up, meaning we both hold and allow others to hold us. In doing so, we are Christ for others even while inviting others to be Christ for us. It’s as if Matthew 25's story of caring for the least and the last isn’t just about visiting the sick and imprisoned but also about welcoming the visitors who come to us in our sickness and imprisonment. The beautiful circle of life is reflected in the circle of trust when we hold a person in the middle of the circle and then allow them to join the circle to hold others, each of us taking a turn to hold and to be held. Hold me now, and I'll hold you in the future. I'll hold you now, and you can hold me in the future. What a beautiful image to behold.