FOR TODAY Listen to the song "Lean on Me" (original by Bill Withers) or watch the video from Playing for Change, below. Read the lyrics.
Sometimes in our lives we all have pain we all have sorrow But if we are wise we know that there's always tomorrow Lean on me, when you're not strong And I'll be your friend I'll help you carry on For it won't be long 'Til I'm gonna need Somebody to lean on Please swallow your pride If I have things you need to borrow For no one can fill those of your needs That you won't let show You just call on me brother, when you need a hand We all need somebody to lean on I just might have a problem that you'll understand We all need somebody to lean on Lean on me, when you're not strong And I'll be your friend I'll help you carry on For it won't be long 'Til I'm gonna need Somebody to lean on You just call on me brother, when you need a hand We all need somebody to lean on I just might have a problem that you'll understand We all need somebody to lean on If there is a load you have to bear That you can't carry I'm right up the road I'll share your load If you just call me (call me) If you need a friend (call me) call me uh huh (call me) if you need a friend (call me) If you ever need a friend (call me) Call me (call me) call me (call me) call me
The website songfacts.com records Bill Withers saying the following about this song: "When I was in the Navy, I must have been about 18, 19 years old, and I was stationed in Pensacola, Florida. It was a holiday, I had this car that I was able to buy and I was driving up to West Virginia. As is the case with young people with cheap cars, the tires weren't that great, so one of my tires blew out on this rural Alabama road. This guy comes walking over the hill that looked like he was right out of the movie Deliverance. He says to me, 'Oh, you had a blowout.' Well, I didn't have a spare tire. This guy goes walking back across the hill, and I'm not too comfortable here because I know where I am. He comes back walking with a tire, and he actually helps me put the tire on the car. Just like the whole American experience, it's very complex and it has it's own little rules and stuff. It depends on your socialization. My socialization was it was very likely and very practical to expect a Lean On Me circumstance to exist. My experience was trying to adjust to a world where that circumstance was not the rule rather than the exception.” In 2006, in an interview with American Songwriter, Withers hit on why the song connects with people in tumultuous times, “[With] romantic love, you only wanna touch people because they’re pretty and they appeal to you physically. The more substantial kind of love is when you want to touch people and care for them when they’re at their worst.”
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION Think of a time when you experienced a “lean on me” circumstance? What does it mean to “swallow your pride” and be vulnerable in needing help and recognizing our connectedness as human beings? Have you ever experienced the blessing of someone holding faith, hope, or strength for you in a time when you could not?
In anticipation of the upcoming election, each day of this week we will invite you to pray an additional collect appointed from the Book of Common Prayer. A Prayer for Guidance O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path we may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This third week focuses on the word strengthen. Soon we will gather virtually for our Jubilee revival. We hope it will be a time that we are strengthened as the people of God. Asking for strength is a testament of our faith; strength is not merely of our own, it is a gift from God. It can be so easy for us to give into worry, fear or despair; yet with God we pray for strength and look forward to wonderful things like our upcoming revival. Find all previous daily devotionals here