Lean on Me

 In Reflections

Lean on me
When you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on…

For it won’t be long
Till I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill
Those of your needs that you won’t let show.

–Bill Withers, excerpt from lyrics for Lean on Me

The lyrics of this classic song washed over me this past weekend, as I heard it on the radio. I thought of how many of us were struggling with anger, fear, judgment, and sorrow right now, perhaps needing a shoulder (or a tree) to lean on.

In his wisdom, Bill Withers shared one of the toughest challenges to receiving the support we need: “for no one can fill those of your needs that you won’t let show.” Knowing this community, we’ve each likely been the one people lean on frequently. Don’t forget to allow yourself to lean on another when you need to.

Whether it’s a friend to listen without judgment, a trusted therapist, a mighty tree to lean against, or times of prayerful conversation with the Divine, there are ways in these difficult days to receive the support we need.

May you blessed with the knowing that support in many forms is available to you any time you need it. And may you feel the presence of the Divine holding you when you rest in the silence.

An Offering of Peace

“…All my other faults are intact and fully apparent, but deep in my spirit’s core, I am a calm soul. What does that mean? According to the ancient tradition, it means I have something I can share. The peace I feel is not something I am to keep, but give away. So, please receive the one true thing of value I can give: this offering of peace for your life.”
  –Steven Charleston, Ladder To The Light: An Indigenous Elder’s Meditations On Hope And Courage (Eremos’ Fall 2021 Book Reflection. Click Here to Find Out More.)

–Photo Courtesy of Julie Bowman


The Trees

Do you think of them as decoration?

Think again.

Here are maples flashing.
And here are the oaks, holding on all winter
to their dry leaves.
And here are the pines that will never fail,
until death, the instruction to be green.
And here are the willows, the first
to pronounce a new year.

May I invite you to revise your thoughts about them?
Oh, Lord, how we are all for invention and
But I think
it would do us good if we would think about
these brothers and sisters, quietly and deeply.

The trees, the trees, just holding on
to the old, holy ways.

                             ~Mary Oliver

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