“Other people keep our souls alive, just like food and water does with our body.” These are the words of Don Miller in his book, Blue Like Jazz. Naturally reclusive by nature, he recognises that too much time alone can change us, and not necessarily for the better. We can go so deep into ourselves that we lose the ability to be social and connect with others. The reality is that we need people, and they need us.
In the second chapter of Genesis, there is a moment when God looks at his creation and sees that which is not good. In Genesis 2: 18, we have these words, ‘The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”’ Could it be that we are not nearly so self sufficient as we think, and we need others to be all that we are designed to be? The reality is that we need people, and they need us.
Without the impact of other people in our lives, we limit our experiences, insight and wisdom to that which we know. As a result, we create really small lives when we have the potential to live great lives.
Proverbs 24: 3-4, says,
By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.
If your life is a house, it requires other people to build it, particularly if you are going to have a life filled with rare and beautiful things. Of course, we can still “build a house” by ourselves, but it will not be a house which is filled with that which is rare and beautiful. That requires the wisdom and input of others. Other people have a way of stretching us, their words can challenge and inspire us, their behaviour can test us, and they save us from negative effects of isolation. The reality is that we need people, and they need us.
As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.Proverbs 27: 17
Under normal circumstances it is as simple as grabbing a coffee, having someone over for a meal, a chat after a service, or meeting in small group at a home. Today it might be a text, a phone call, perhaps zoom or some other digital platform to connect. Find a way to connect. Keep doing life with others, keep finding ways to speak into one another’s lives, keep growing and continue to build a life that is filled with rare and beautiful treasures.