It was a simple question, and one that made sense. I had no pockets of my own, and using my camera required both of my hands. Without hesitation, I said, “That would be great!”
But the words felt strange coming out of my mouth. For years, I have prided myself of my independence, being self-reliant, and “needing no man.” I have washed my own laundry, carried my own suitcases, packed my own snacks, and paid my own phone bill.
In all reality, it should have been an easier summer than last year. Last year, I was new to the whole camp thing. I had never been to Texas, never been a paid photographer, and never been on a 15-hour road trip with 30 strangers. But this year, I was an old pro. I new several other staff members. I was one of only 3 returning photographers. Riding in a bus is my specialty.
Yet, this summer had its own struggles. There were more photography expectations and requirements. We went to different churches. I had more decisions to make.
Meanwhile, I was missing emails and orientation information about my upcoming missions trip. While I was at camp, I was supposed to request 2 Visas, receive medications, prep my car for a long drive, and order camera gear.
And I had to learn that I couldn’t do it all alone.
Coworkers had to help me take pictures, tag camper bands, and input data so that I could meet deadlines. Families that I had just met offered to let me use their Wifi, eat their food, and swim in their pools (occasionally while wearing their clothes) so that I could relax a little. My parents mailed my passport, maintained my car, and communicated with the mission organization from back home so that I would be prepared for my missions trip.
And it all taught me that I am not as self-sufficient as I thought.
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God”
– 2 Corinthians 3:5
The truth is, I can do nothing on my own. I cannot carry my own struggles, suitcase, or even my cell phone. God alone gives the personal strength I need each day.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! ..a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
– Ecclesiastes 3:9, 12
He gives more than personal strength, however. He gives friends, family, and coworkers to help us. Not only does he want us to rely on Him, he wants us to work in unity with His church.
“The body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.”
– 1 Corinthians 12:14-16
So, yes, you may carry my cell phone. Thank you.