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I’ve been reading through Nehemiah.  While the book is one of my favorites, what really struck me this time was all of the people coming together for a cause.

“Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate… The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zakkur son of Imri built next to them. The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah…repairs were made by men from Gibeon and Mizpah—Melatiah of Gibeon and Jadon of Meronoth… Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that…”

Chapter 3 is filled with one person after another from a variety of backgrounds who would not be traditionally working together. Rulers, goldsmiths, perfume-makers, sons, daughters, laborers, merchants, temple servants all worked together.  The list goes on and on.

Regardless of if families had fought against each other, at this point in history they were working together, side by side.  Each took pride in their section of the wall and without arguing or disputes.  Together they built the wall.

This thought of “together” can apply to current life. It is so easy to get caught up in laser beam focus.  Neglecting to help that lady struggling to put her groceries in her car.  Or volunteering time to help pack backpacks for hungry kids at the local food bank.  Soccer games have to be watched.  The can’t-miss tv show is on tonight, no time to help the neighbor pull weeds.

This year, due to reading through Nehemiah, I’ve challenged myself to be more open to helping or working next to people I haven’t interacted with in the past.  Stopping to ask people if I can help shovel or load groceries or when I find out a need being open to give what I have.

Small groups are great for so many reasons, but one of the best is being able to help in mass.  A task that seems daunting for one person becomes attainable for a group of people.  Nehemiah 6:15 says “(together) the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.” Together we can change our community.