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The Beauty and Power of Tribes-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 7, 2021

When we’re caught in rip-tide of discouragement, aloneness and even medical issues, we need friends to pull us out. Yes Covid has restrictions but they cannot be used an excuse for not tenderly caring for one-another. There are ways. If you’ve been part of my Fresh Joy Book study you notice that I often refer to friendship circles as “tribes.” Tribes are vital to our soul and our health.

Tribes are vital to our soul and health.

A tribe is, “a distinctive or close-knit group.” We need people in our life who will engage with us, help us when we’re stuck, make us laugh and call us out on bad behaviour. Before Covid, this was done in face-to-face in groups (2 or more) celebrating victories, grieving together or just connecting heart-to-heart. The richness of this cannot be duplicated and must be pursued.

During Covid we are limited but there are ways to belong. For instance, even though Zoom events are not ideal, and we may grudgingly join them, but once the sharing and laughter starts, we end the meeting and come away refreshed and fulfilled in surprising ways. Because I have not been feeling well this past week one of my tribe friends dropped of a delicious and well prepared meal.  In the last few months several people have left gifts for me on my doorstep, then texted me to open the door and “take a look.” The richness of that is indescribable. We can also walk and talk six feet apart.

So easy. So wonderful.

We need tribes because we need someone to “lift us up.”  The story of Moses gaining victory over the Amalekite army is such a great model of “lifter uppers.” In Exodus 17:12-14 we read how the Israelites were winning as long as Moses held up his staff with his hands. Then the Bible says this: “Moses’ arms finally became too tired to hold up the staff any longer. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side, holding up his hands until sunset.” As a result, Joshua and his troops were able to crush the army of Amalek.” Wow, I love this story.

To win our battles we need someone in our tribe to come alongside, encourage us to sit and rest when necessary, and be a “lifter-upper.” Otherwise we will grow too weary and feel crushed. We’re fighting a lot of battles these days and we can’t do it alone. I implore each of us. In the coming weeks, let’s go out of our way to be a “lifter-upper” in some small or significant way so that we will win the battle of Covid, marriages, relationships, spiritual growth and well being. I will diligently do my part to engage and brighten friends in my tribes. Tribes are the heartbeat of our walk here on earth, let’s continue to build and treasure them.





Posted in: alone, beauty and joy, Christ, companionship, Covid-19, disappointments, Encouragement, fresh joy, Friendship, girlfriends, good conversation, Hope, isolation, Jesus, joy, laughter, Lifter-uppers, loneliness, loneliness epidemic, relationships, tribes

One response to “The Beauty and Power of Tribes-by Heidi McLaughlin”

  1. Janet Bayman says:

    Beautiful, Heidi. Do you have a spot in one of your tribes for a wayward American? Sorry to hear you are not feeling well. How can I help? You look lovely in red – what a great photo.

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