To come alongside, to carry, to take up another's burdens: to encourage. There are many moment that I can recall when I have been there to encourage another. I have dropped my life to shoulder another's. To be the encourager is a comfortable place for me because I am giving aid while remaining strong. It is joyful to meet another's needs. And safe.
To make yourself available, to need, to reveal: to be vulnerable. To say that I bristle at the mention of needing help is kind. Typically, I would rather hurt myself trying than ask for help. But when Jesus described his Kingdom, I am not sure he envisioned the most-of-these swooping in to help the least. There is no class system in the Kingdom of God. We are called not only to serve, but to be served. Before Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, Jesus's feet were washed by a woman so low his disciples, who were common workers, were uncomfortable around her. But our Lord, our incarnate God, submitted to encouragement and the embrace of a forgotten, unlovely woman. Be dwell in God's kingdom is not a string of service opportunities, but an invitation to be known and to seek to know. Through that knowing we find community.
To love, to train, to cry, to worry, to need: to parent. Children are needy. Relentlessly and unapologetically so. They are willing to stop and ask and cry and demand. They love unreservedly because they don't imagine that they could ever be rejected. Their joy is just as full as their pain, and I should learn from them.
So, I promise to follow in the footsteps of my children into God's great and glorious kingdom. I promise to strive not only to know but to be known and refuse to allow my need to be sufficient to deprive myself the joy of living in the sufficiency of God's grace.