Our new blog is named for the Joseph’s House anthem: Lean on Me by Bill Withers.
It was over 20 years ago when we first played Lean on Me at the end of a memorial service in the living room at Joseph’s House. After saying the Serenity Prayer and The Lord’s Prayer, everyone put their arms around each and stood in a close circle, the volume was turned way up and we sang and wept with these lyrics:
Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain, we all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow
Lean on me when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on
Please, swallow your pride
If I have faith you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show
You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on…
Over time we changed one of the “brother” lines to “sister” to include us all. Hundreds of times we have sung this song – sometimes soft and sweet like a prayer – but the best of times we’ve sung it loud; clapping and dancing, leaning into the beat of this song of songs for those who stand ready to be called upon, ready to share the load, to loan a friend a little faith, offer a strong shoulder to lean on. Knowing all the while that our turn to ‘need somebody to lean on’ is coming. For some of us it’s already here.
Never were words better written for the way we experience living and dying and being together at Joseph’s House than the lyrics of Lean on Me.
We hope you’ll come back to this post and to this blog and that you’ll bring your own stories of love and hope.