And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. Mark 6:7
When Jesus first began to choose disciples, he started with two sets of brothers. After he reached twelve, he commissioned them to go out two by two. Matthew even specifies how Jesus paired them. Why pairs? There’s a time for solitude but it should not characterize the majority of our lives. God didn’t create us to live as islands. We were designed to be interdependent.
The most dangerous thing I can do as a woman is internalize the stuff of life and process it alone. As long as it stays in my head, it’s muddled. Because I haven’t verbalized it, I can’t see clearly and feel appropriately. Though I rehearse things over and over, and though I believe I have everything figured out, I rarely do. If I add pain to the mix, it becomes a complex cobweb that can never be untangled without the help of another person who listens empathetically and responds prayerfully. Jesus must be the center of all this.
I have found that I really do need to talk about the most painful things in my life. Sometimes, I don’t know how much something hurts until I put words to it. I think I’m doing okay as long as things are unspoken. But as soon as someone safe starts asking me some questions, the threads of the story come tumbling out at random and the power of how I feel surprises me.
- I don’t know how angry I should be until I see another’s reaction.
- I don’t know if I’ve overreacted until I hear the story through their re-telling.
- I don’t know if I should be grieving something instead of accepting it.
- I don’t often know what the core issue of my heart is until someone helps me figure it out.
In talking about things, I find tears I don’t know are there. I discover anger I thought was just sadness. I uncover unbelief when I thought I was at peace. Questions like ~ “How are you handling this? What’s the worst part? How has this changed your life forever? What are you saying to yourself about this at 3:00 a.m.?” These are the catalysts for truth searches.
The power of two. Jesus knew it. Intimate relationships keep me from saying, “I’m fine!” when I’m not. Spiritual safety helps unearth the real issues.
For every one who walks alone, let this change the rest of their life. Provide Spirit-partners. Amen