Have you ever tripped and fallen? I’m not talking a little misstep. I’m talking about the full-on-fall to the ground type of trip. Have you ever experienced that?
This last Saturday morning, I got to experience that very thing. As I was walking with a group of ladies in the streets of Birmingham to attend the Connecting Ministry Conference, I misstepped on a lower portion of asphalt and went crashing to the ground. While flying through the air, time stalled. I literally thought “please don’t let my jeans rip, please don’t let my coffee splash on anyone else, please don’t let my purse get scratched.”
And down I went. Smackdown on my bad knee. I managed to bloody up both palms, twisted my ankle, and bruise my knee pretty good.
I also managed to startle my group. Imagine this…I’m at the back of the group when I conducted my solo-ballet performance. However, a city worker saw my antics and came running towards our group (as though he was going to make it super-speed and catch me). As I went down, Erin felt me brush across her hip and she immediately thought I was trying to move her out of harm’s way.
As I’m on the ground in the middle of the street in downtown Birmingham, the rest of the group turned and assumed their appropriate friendship roles. They each assessed the scene for danger, but it was more than that….they each played a specific role.
Cheryl, the founder of the ministry hosting the conference event, immediately starts asking if I’m okay and what she can do to help. Carrie, our prayer team leader, immediately cried out for some heavenly assistance. Janice, the mama bear of the group, immediately tried to start helping me up. Erin, the best friend, asked if I was okay, took my purse, and then started laughing at me. (Okay, she didn’t really laugh right then…but she did later!)
Sometimes falling into sin looks similar to me tripping in the street. We don’t see the danger of sin ahead of us and it “sneaks up” on us. It jumps up and grabs us when we are least expecting it. It pulls us down…sometimes quickly…sometimes as though time stalls so we can really think through the impacts of the sinful behavior.
Each of us needs to surround ourselves with women who will assume specific roles when we trip into sinful behavior. We need a friend who will ask if we’re okay and try to help. We need those who cry out to Heaven on our behalf. We need the one helping us up. And we need the closest confidant, who will hold our purse and will later laugh with us when the situation is over.
That circle of ladies, who each assumes a role, are the ones that help us live a more Christ-like life. They hold us accountable while praying with us and assisting us with recovery.
I love those ladies who each assumed their roles when I fell on my hands and knees in the streets of a big city. I love them more, knowing that they would each assume similar roles if they saw me trip into sin.
“…remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” ~James 5:20 (NIV)