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Ann Farabee: Hold up those arms

You know that piercing cry you hear from someone where you realize something is wrong? I mean — really wrong?

One afternoon, my seven year old grandson fell out of a hammock that was apparently operating as a full speed means of transportation, instead of being used as a place to relax, as is the intended purpose. He landed on some very unforgiving, dry, hard ground.

Holding on to his arm, he ran to me, screaming for help. I realized immediately that a hug and a band-aid would not be enough to fix this problem.

As my husband transported us to the hospital, I sat in the back seat with my little one, trying to bring calm by repeating, “Hold on! Hold on! We are getting help!”

It was perhaps the longest eight minute ride ever, as I desperately ‘held up’ his arm, and he used his free hand to ‘hold on’ and cling to mine.

I sensed his full body weight leaning completely on me, and I saw that look of desperation in his eyes. His emotions were everywhere, as he nervously faced an ‘unknown’ that appeared to be insurmountable to him.

My ability to ‘calm the storm’ was minimal, but I was doing all I could to ‘calm’ him. I continued to ‘hold up’ his arm, trying to provide support and comfort. I knew that he needed help from someone who was much more capable than I was…

So…I just held his arm up. And… he held on.

It sort of felt like our personalized ‘Moses, Aaron, and Hur’ moment from Exodus 17. Moses faced a seemingly insurmountable situation — as he led two million people in the wilderness and faced the enemy at the top of the hill, holding the rod of God in his hand. As long as he continued to ‘hold up’ his arms, his people were winning the battle. But… his arms began to feel heavy and he grew tired.

It is apparently no coincidence that the name Aaron means ‘strength’ and the name Hur means ‘liberty,’ because they were able to provide that for Moses. They comforted him by giving him a stone to sit on. They supported him by ‘holding up’ his arms when his strength began to fail. They stayed with him and ‘held him up’ until the ‘going down’ of the sun, when God sent the victory.

For us, 14 hours later, after our ‘comfort’ and ‘support’ arrived in the form of help at the hospital, we thankfully returned home around the ‘rising’ of the sun.

Even though my little guy continued to ‘hold up’ and ‘hold on’ to his arm for a few days afterwards, he definitely knew that he had received comfort and support when his arm was placed in a cast to protect it. He knew he had regained the liberty to ‘hold on’ within his own strength, without needing me — or the hospital staff — to assist.

Yes, our difficult circumstance arrived. Support and comfort was needed. I — along with others — held up his arm(s) — when he was weak and unable to on his own.

Painful moments? Yes. Priceless memories? Yes. Powerful message? Yes.

We all NEED an Aaron and a Hur sometimes, don’t we?

And… we all need to BE an Aaron and a Hur sometimes, as well.

Because… what better is there to hold on to in life than each other?

(Just in case you doubt, try this experiment: Hold up your arms on your own. As your arms grow heavy and tired, have two friends waiting by your side to hold them up for you. You will see — and feel — the difference!)

We don’t have to do it alone.

Let me know how your ‘holding up arms’ goes… annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com

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