One of the morning devotionals at the conference in Guatemala focused on the passage in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 that speaks of the “cord of three strands.”
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4 (NIV)
The primary message was as simple (and as complex) as the message of the passage — that one is good, but two is better. Two is more effective. Two is safer. Two is warmer. Two it NOT alone.
And three…three is best.
This is true for individuals and for organizations. One may be easier in the short term, but for the long haul, partnership is best. Together is best. Together may be messy sometimes — even often — but together is God’s plan. God is, in His own self, together. Trinity.
We concluded our time in groups of three, praying together. Memorable.
I stood & prayed with my friend Isabell (Canadian anthropologist who has worked in Brazil for most of her adult life — I met her when we roomed together in Panama a couple three years ago, saw her again in Thailand when we were both there for International meetings, and then again in Brazil a year ago.) and my new friend Paul (businessman who is now giving leadership to the Bible Society in Suriname after living and working for many years in the Netherlands).