It was just a typical bench day. But at the same time it wasn’t. It was AMRAP day. The day I tested my training to see if my numbers were improving. I worked my way up to the last set, started the video camera, and went for it. Then this happened:
This was rep 8 of 105#. But it was also the rep when I realized I needed someone. I needed a spotter. In a room of men and a gym where I knew at least 5 people by name at that point my pride said I got it. The video proves I didn’t. The bar hit chest and on the press I couldn’t get it up. I knew there was no lock out. So I dumped a side and got the bar to the bottom rung. I racked my weights and went and hid in the ladies locker room hoping no one caught my defeat.
But in that moment I learned a valuable lesson: we all need someone.
Whether it’s a spotter behind the bench for safety, a friend across the lunch table to help process life, a spouse to hold you when life has exhausted you, or a hand to pray with when life is hard- each moment echoes that man was not created to be alone.
We are called to live in community. To join in corporate worship not for the sake of numbers on a roster but because when we come together we:
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”Proverbs 27:17 ESV
“For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”Ecclesiastes 4:10 ESV
We sharpen, lift up, encourage, and help one another not for our name sake but His.
So today, join together with someone. Take a moment for a heart check with that friend who you’ve noticed hasn’t smiled as much lately. Grab a friend to workout together for safety and support. Take coffee to a mom who’s at home with the kids this week. Call the friend in another state to see how you can pray for them. Join together to remember it’s better there instead of being alone.
I stood before it as I do every morning. Peering into the mirror I see the face staring back at me as I’ve done since a little girl. A face that shows the lack of sleep from staying up late studying in the bags that have traveled to that spot right underneath her eyes. A face that is surrounded by the messy bed hair from the tossing and turning in the sheets, just wanting to find comfort. A face that displays two big brown eyes that are already analyzing the flaws her lack of nutrient dense dinners have brought her face. A face that despite all that,has learned to love what it sees looking back at her.
As I stood there this morning though, I began to understand a deeper truth that God brought to my heart that morning. One can only see their self in the reflection they create. The way we see ourself in our reflection is the only way we know what we look like, as well as it’s the only way we can create the image of who we want to be. So many times I’ve heard people say, “I wish you saw yourself the way I see you” and to be honest I do too. See I used to not like myself. I didn’t think I was beautiful and would scoff at compliments ( truth be told, I still do on occasion but I’m learning to say thank you.) Without our reflection, we have no idea how we look. I often wonder what life is like without the sense of sight. What image do you create for yourself? It has to be one faceted out of what others tell you.
Our vision of Christ is similar.
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.- 1 peter 1:8-9
We love and believe in him despite our vision of Him. We gain a deeper understanding of who He is through His reflection that is recorded in His word. Regardless of the sight of who He is, we are capable and able to obtain the outcome of our faith in Him which is our salvation. It’s often said that when one person lacks a sense, the others become more refined. I believe the same to be true in the Christian life. Though we can not see our Lord, we can come to know Him more intimately through the hearing and reading of His word. When we do, we gain a glimpse of who our Savior was and we can love and believe Him more.
It’s all through the reflection of love that we can begin to see who we are and more importantly who Christ is in us.