The integrity of companionship in suffering
Genesis 2: 18-24 (NRSVA)
18 Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ 19 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
‘This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken.’
24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.
This morning’s reading takes us right back to the loneliness of Adam. And in reality the loneliness and isolation that can be a type of suffering many face today. In this reading we are told that God could see that it was not good for a human being to be alone. We have been made in his image. Made for community and communion with creation. So God not only provided a partner for Adam but he also made him aware of the companionship of the animals and creation itself. I’m always heartened when I hear people talk about the value they place on friendships. For so many people it is the companionship of a partner, a friend or an animal that has been the light that has come into their darkness. God can come close to us using the harmony of his creation but closer still through the revelation that Jesus brings into our lives.
In our key story this month, it is the companionship of strangers in a crowd, shouting to Bartimaeus, “He is calling you” that changes the direction of his life. Perhaps we need to ‘Take heart’ and become aware of the light that is available to all of us through the gift of companions who come in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps we need to become thankful for the voices of companions who give us hope in our darkest moments. And above all for the voice of Jesus saying, ”I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (from Hebrews 13: 5).
‘Step Into the Water’ is a song from the Bogle Band album ‘Brave’. It’s a song to encourage us to obey the call to step out in faith. Here’s a link to the song on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/6I7QylV9Bxo5i8mTOTSQmI?si=e01f4f2353e546fc
To know I am not alone
Gives me hope to search for the light.
Thank you for my companions of hope
The strangers and loved ones
who have walked with me in my darkest moments
Help me like Bartimaeus to take heart
Help me believe all is not lost
Lighten my darkness
Hear my cry to you Lord
And in your mercy
Protect me from all my fears real and imagined.
Open my eyes that I might recognise your presence
When you call me into the light.