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WHATS IN THIS BLOG:
Video of the song Lean On Me (3 mins).
• We all need hope.
• Hope can come to us from other people.
• We can do something tangible to help another person.
• Hot new kind of jewelry

Just to clarify: each of my blogs centers on one of three categories: (1) Inspiration and Hope, or (2) Science and Energy, or (3) Health and Hiking. Probably too broad a spectrum, but I can’t decide how to narrow it down. Any suggestions? This particular blog is about hope.

An old song popped up the other day, and it’s one of my favorites….. Lean On Me by Bill Withers, whose group was called Soul Train (vintage 1970). Further down you can click to play the song.

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

THE ABOVE VERSE IS ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION, which is pockmarked by pain and suffering.

For example:

A few nights ago I attended the fortnightly dance. Between dances a man lamented that his back was hurting, and it hurt all the time, due to an inoperable cyst.

A lady who was classily dressed revealed her mom and her grand-daughter had passed away since we had last danced a couple years ago.

The verse finishes with a hint of hope: the sun will shine again…..tomorrow. But where does hope spring from?

Bill Withers, who wrote the song Lean On Me (click to source).

If there is a load you have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load
If you just call me

THIS VERSE IS ABOUT A RESOURCE FOR HOPE IN THE FORM OF ANOTHER HUMAN…… maybe a family member, a buddy, a neighbor, a church member, a stranger.

I know a young woman who is handicapped, and cannot drive a car. She needs a car that has hand-controls installed. Lean on me.

It’s a classic dilemma: she can’t get a job without being able to drive (no bus routes near where she lives). But she can’t pay for a car until she gets a job.

Last week, a friend I know gave her a significant donation which will go a long way toward the cost of a car, and other friends are contributing also. Lean on me.

“This is huge for me,” she said. “I’ve been trapped, but this will open up all sorts of job opportunities.”

But wait….how does this work with a stranger? A stranger might help me?? YES! I could help a stranger?? YES! A complete stranger that I was able to help is described in another blog (click here to read).

THEOLOGY AND BIBLE STUDIES AND PRAYER CAN BRING HOPE. No question about this. But the missing part, when we are so busy with work and parenting and TV and recreation and FaceBook, is the human resource for hope. Yes, you and I can help someone to hope. An excellent role model is Jesus, who spent much of his three-year ministry helping someone to hope.

But wait…. Jesus was the son of God — he was sent here to help someone to hope. That was his job description. But wait again…… the Bible is packed full of examples of people helping others to hope. And urgings from the writers of the books of the Bible to get to it….. apparently it’s important to God.

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’d understand
We all need somebody to lean on

FOR ME, THIS IS WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD. What grounds my faith is helping other folks to hope. Amongst a myriad of opportunities out there, I just have to open my eyes, and become aware of them. And act on them. And do something tangible to help another person. Stretch out a hand to help, as is brilliantly conveyed in Bill Wither’s song.

Click here for a video of an original Bill Withers song.
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JEWELRY TIP: In Santa Fe last week, I bought a pair of deep blue druzy earrings for my step-daughter Staci. Druzy jewelry has color and sparkle, as much as diamonds to me. But druzy is a mineral (rock) – usually quartz crystals that have grown over millions of years in the center of a geode. And they are inexpensive! If you are in Santa Fe or Scottsdale, look for druzy in Touchstone stores.
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The Gray Nomad ….. Opem sperare de aliquo.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. [Book of James, chapter 2].

Leave a Reply

6 Responses to Lean on me ~ a song of hope

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  2. Karen A Larre |

    Beautiful, Ian! I don’t think you need to limit your blog subject matter at all. I love the variety of topics in the categories you cover. They are all your passions, so don’t change a thing!

  3. A great article on hope. We all need hope at times in our struggles in life. There have been times in my life that I could not have made it without hope. Thank God he has always sent someone to me that gives me hope. Thanks for writing this blog.

    • Thanks Mary Ann. And we all have struggles or someone in our family has struggles……. essentially all the time. I pray we become better Noticers. What’s a Noticer? Someone who becomes aware of another’s problems AND offers to help. When this happens, a Noticer’s mood rises about 25% toward the positive.

  4. I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for putting that song back on my radar!
    Regarding your Bible quote at the end of the blog (….faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.) I thought you might appreciate this pithy and profound African version: “When you pray, move your feet.”

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