I’ve heard the Gospel of the sending of the 72 disciples, two by two–frankly, haven’t we all?–so many times over the years. It has never captured my attention like the Passion narrative, parables, or John’s “I AM” discourses. It seemed pedestrian, a set-up to lay the foundation of other passages and what transpired after Jesus’s Resurrection and Ascension.
On Sunday, my younger brother was hit by a car while on his bike, trying to avoid another car that was distractedly driving right into him. Like the saying goes, he took it on the chin, breaking his jaw and chin.
Normally, I would have jumped on a plane to be there, but I was already scheduled to jump on another plane to go to the West Coast to see our parents. When we arrived late on Monday, my Mom and I immediately started searching for flights and hotel rooms so that we could turn around and go to him at the hospital the next day.
As the next 48 hours unfolded, we both had this “ah-ha” experience. We couldn’t have done it without the other. While my Mom stayed at my brother’s side, I ran around the city, late at night,trying to get his prescriptions filled so he could be discharged. Sort of a “Martha-Mary” thing. Chicago–where he lives–was my “home town” for many years, and as she said, I know it pretty well. Logistics were my lot. Consolation, empathy, and advocacy were hers. We complemented each other.
We also were there for each other.
We had decisions to make–and we were sounding boards for each other.
We had emotions to express–and we had the other’s shoulder to cry on and ear to bend.
Two by two. That is how we are sent into the world. Two by two keeps up balanced. Two by two tempers anxiety and fosters humility, not egoism. Two by two reminds us that we are not alone.