Oh Dear One,
It feels like we are coming apart at the seams, like a ship in a violent storm. Our nation, our world, pummeled by wave after battering wave.
Our moaning now exceeds that of the raging winds.
I asked God this morning for a ‘now’ word. A word to the weary. A word to the weeping. A word that might hold us up and hold us together in all this breaking apart.
That’s the word I heard: Undergird.
It’s a good word, this one. Undergird means to strengthen, secure, and support. But more than that, and I did not know this, it’s a nautical term. One that involves wrapping chains or ropes around splintering ships to literally hold them together in stormy seas. They would be wrapped 4-5 times, over and under and over once more. Held together in the howling winds.
Selah. Pause and think about that.
Undergird is only used twice in the Scriptures.
Once was in a hurricane when “they took measures to undergird the ship which was in danger of breaking apart under the strain of the storm” (Acts 27:17).
The only other time this word is used is in Hebrews 4:16 where it’s translated as the word help:
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us[undergird us – hold us together!] in our time of need.”
Today, the process of undergirding a ship is called frapping.
A ship is frapped to support her in a great storm, when she is simply not strong enough to resist the violent efforts of the sea. She is frapped to support her when she is in danger of sinking. To give her a chance to survive. Hello.
“God alone is my safe place; his wraparound presence always protects me.”
Psalm 62:2 (The Passion)
Friend, weary one, weathered one, weeping one, let us approach God so we can be frapped in our time of need. Frapped and wrapped around and about by something so strong it can hold us up and hold us together under all the strain.
Bind us together, Lord.
Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord. Bind us together, Lord.
Bind us together in love.
Undergird: Our Little Life Word of the week.
- What is threatening to pull you apart or pull you under? To what storm are you in danger of succumbing?
- Find someone to wrap you up in a blanket, as if you were cocooned or swaddled. Feel the sensation of being held together.
- If no one can do this for you, simply lay a blanket on the ground and roll yourself up in it.
- Find ways to frap and wrap others in love and kindness this week because friend, it matters so much. Love will keep us together.
- Our song of the week is: Hold Us Together by H.E.R. and Tauren Wells. This is a new song to me and all I can say in response is a hearty a-men!
- Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken. Amen.