I have a twin sister whose name rhymes with mine. Gayle and Dayle. We had a teacher once that, as he checked attendance, would say, “Gayle and Dayle, sounds like a dance team.”
I despised that comment.
I did, however, thoroughly enjoy having a twin. We were always thought of as a single entity, so we did everything together, by choice or not. But as one who dislikes being alone, I was fortunate to always have a companion my age, who knew everything about me. When we played, we knew we liked different things and would accommodate each other. I never had to play by myself. When we fought, we knew how to make life miserable for each other; knowing each other’s weaknesses made it easy to undermine the other.
I learned early the delight of companionship, the joy of having someone who would listen to me, who’d push back when I was being too much, and who understood me without explanation.
Two of our daughter’s families were able to connect in Washington DC for a brief visit. Melody and her family have lived there for quite awhile and are gracious tour guides for those who come to the city. Many would think the monuments and museums are the highlight.
The four cousins believed differently. It was all about connecting.
Kids have a natural affinity for making friends. As they learn to speak, many wave at strangers and say “hi” to those who pass. My experience has been that they talk to children on the playground, having conversations on the monkey bars or swinging next to each other. There’s a guilelessness about such interactions–people are people, and playing is fun for everyone. It’s more fun to share an experience and see the expressions of joy on another face than to do it alone.
The cousins shared time together, walking around the mall by the monuments, not fully understanding the significance of statues or location.
They were having fun.
When they found a fountain, sitting together with their feet in the water was more enjoyable than understanding what the fountain represented.
Because they were together.
I question how well we value companionship today. We so easily cancel others out of our lives if there’s a disagreement, if something is said that might offend. Rather than discussing it, people often dismiss the one who may have spoken wrongly without a chance to make things right.
That’s a sure way to become alone.
Jesus came to unite people in His love, to bring a oneness of heart to people so we could see how much better we can be together rather than apart. It’s a lesson that was taught throughout the Bible, helping people recognize their need for one another.
“By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
There’s value in standing together, not to hurt others, but to encourage and strengthen each other. I had Gayle, and we had each other’s backs when life felt lonely.
Jesus offers to have our backs. To provide the companionship we long for.
A Friend who won’t ever reject you.
That’s a Companion worth knowing.