Barn Raising

A friend recently had an unexpected problem that presented a significant financial challenge. The situation came on the heels of decisions he and his wife had made regarding getting out of debt. They are self-employed and offer significant time and energy volunteering to serve others. Their lives are selfless and evidence of a calling beyond just themselves.

The situation they were in presented an opportunity to those of us who walk with them. The opportunity was one of contribution. The contribution, in this case, was to help them with a specific need but the ramifications were much broader than just them. The opportunity to develop a culture of honor and service among those who honor and serve was bigger than the immediate need.

We’ve all heard of communities in our not too distant history which came together to help a neighbor build a house or barn. With many hands, there was little work and the project was finished in a fraction of the time that it would have taken alone. The result was a community that was skilled in both giving and receiving. It was not dependant on the bondage of debt to institutions that do not include honor as part of the equation of assistance.

When my family and I experienced a business failure a few years ago, people in our community stepped in and helped us financially. Some would offer, “let me know how I can help” while others would simply help with an offering without volleying the request into our court. The offers of “let me know” were difficult to respond to with anything tangible, while the assistance given was easy to receive. We have given, this was a time to receive.

When we are the type of community that walks life out in transparent and interdependent relationships built around honor and Truth, then we can avoid the traps of debt and systematic dependence. This is different from the culture of our nation, but the call of our hearts is into that difference. The freedom of community is reciprocal relationships replacing monthly bills and mounting debts for the same results.

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