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Why is it that we are so hesitant to ask for help? That was a topic of conversation at our book study last night. We were considering the work of Barbara Brown Taylor, a book called Learning to Walk in the Dark, and again this morning the topic popped up in the lectionary readings: the Book of Esther, Psalm 138 and the more familiar text from MT 7 that tells us to ask, seek and knock — all in the same sentence.

It may have something to do with the “rugged individualism” of our country’s pioneering history or the overly competitive spirit that we see in sports teams from school children to professional teams. Somehow we have learned that asking for help springs from a weakness that we should fear. That is truly unfortunate, especially because there is hardly anything most of us would rather do than be of service to one another.

When is the last time you asked the advice of a friend or sought help to complete a project that was too onerous for one person? And even if you could do it yourself, why not ask for help just to forge a deeper relationship? Walking in the dark is a much more meaningful (and safe!) thing to do if you’re holding the hand of a friend. Try it. I guarantee it will lighten your load.