Once upon a time, 20 years ago, this was our tribe. We called them up and said, “Will you stand with us and believe with us? Will you believe in us and rejoice with us? They even agreed to stand in the unusually warm California heat that Sunday afternoon in June, wearing long pink dresses and dark tuxedos for us, because, that’s what your tribe does! It was a no-brainer for them because we’d already been through thick and thin together; high school, college, dreams and triumphs, disappointments and heartaches too. Most of these women spent endless nights (months?) encouraging me that God surely had a plan for my life and it included a fantastic husband.
I was a little dramatic, but they were right, because your tribe rarely steers you wrong. We couldn’t have made it through that blessed day in June, or the last 20 years without the support of a faithful tribe. Distance and “life” have changed our tribe a bit over the years but in a culture that is becoming more and more autonomous, celebrating independence and solitude, I crave community now more than ever.
I looked up the definition of this trendy term, meant to describe your closest friends, in whom you confide and “live life”. Of course I found a variety of answers on the web, but most referred to a tribe as “a group of people with a common bond either cultural, religious or generational, living in community, providing for each other with intense loyalty and faithfulness as one’s own family”.
It’s your Squad, or your Posse… does anyone say Posse anymore? What about Peeps?
I guess we will go with Tribe.
It’s the way we were created.
In God’s image.
for the purpose of relationship.
First to Him and then to each other.
He said it Himself in the beginning,
Genesis 2:18 “It is not good for man to be alone!”
He gave Adam a wife, a friend, a helper. He put them in relationships and eventually tribes. He did this on purpose and continues historically to knit people together because He knows we need each other. Jesus with skin on I like to call it.
I read in the Bible over and over again how important community is to God.
Psalm 68:6 “God puts the lonely in families”.
Psalm 133:1,3 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
Exodus 17:12 [During war with the Amalekites],When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset. And they were able to win the war!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 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.
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
My tribe often consists of but is not limited to my immediate family and life long friends.
My tribe believes in me when I don’t believe in myself, they run to me when I have fallen, lift my arms when I can’t, give me pep talks, and listen.They have knocked sense into me, lightened the mood when necessary and know just when to get serious when we have to. We eat together, worship and pray, grieve and rejoice, stand in the gap and lay down our lives. We keep each other’s secrets ( and children!) and tell each other the truth; we gather, we give space and we roll deep!
Together we belong and are heard and known and want to make a difference in the world around us. It’s a beautiful thing!
Do you ever feel like you’ve lost your way?
Sometimes I have a tendency to march to the beat of my own drum and I find myself alone in the grind doing my own thing, but something in me longs for others like deep calling to deep or a resonating tuning fork that must be responded to. I know, we all get busy and driven that way don’t we? Forging ahead with our heads down? But if we take time to look up and around, we will see that God has put others near us who hear the same beat, and It’s like, “YES! you get me! You’re doing what I’m doing, you’re getting after it like I’m getting after it!
Come! March with me!
Because we are better together.”
There’s nothing like surviving in the grind to draw you close to someone else.
Do you need a tribe?
Do you have a tribe? Do you feel lonely? Do you need community and friends to rally around you? Try your local church, or your neighbor, a family member or an old friend. Try reaching out to someone in the same season of life as you with a little vulnerability and a listening ear. You’d be surprised how much we all long for this. For each other. For Jesus with skin on. For a tribe.
Parenting is hard .
marriage is hard.
Adulting is hard.
But it’s easier together.
We were never meant to do it alone.
The paradox of building a tribe:
There once was a man who had 10 good friends. These men would do anything for him, even die. But this was not enough. He wanted more.
So he campaigned and lobbied and raised support so that he could become famous.
Soon, he had a hundred friends. Then, a thousand. Pretty soon the man was a rock star, with millions of adoring fans, following every move he made.
At first, the attention was nice. But soon he found that there were expectations associated with his new-found status. People asked for favors and handouts, wanting special attention. They made demands he couldn’t meet.
He felt trapped, overwhelmed, and confused. Isn’t this what he wanted? Why was he so discontent?
Not knowing where to turn, the man went in search of his true fans.
He weeded through the crowds of countless admirers and “yes men,” looking for a few, dedicated followers. Finally, he found 10 people. They were his original true friends. Turns out that was all he ever needed.
Together, they went and changed the world.