Three Strong

I went to the tow path this morn to run. It was lovely there. The path was empty, less a lone runner or bicyclist every five to seven minutes. We have had rain since Sunday …. working our way into the fifth day of alternating drizzle and downpour. The ground was soggy with sporadic puddles … sandy, red ground squished under my feet here and there.

The Savannah River is swollen from the deluge
but the tow path canal is even more so …. swift and inflamed.
She would be easy to paddle down,
but a bear to paddle up right now.
Yes, she would gift a good workout on the return trip.

When I first spied them, they caught my eye because I did not recognize the shape as familiar. At a distance, I knew this was not a natural shape for a leaf from any tree that I know.
As I grew closer, I realized the two were one.
And I saw three.

Three is my favorite number.
People and relationships are the most important of all basic elements in life.
And anywhere there is a believer and another soul, God is there, as well,
because God’s spirit communes inside us … with us … moving, leading, guiding us.
So, at any time I am talking with a friend, neighbor or acquaintance …
there are three spirits there; God’s, mine and the other person’s.
Even more, when two or more believers are together, the Bible tells us that God is there
in the midst or among them. (Matthew 18:20)

I thought of this when I saw the leaves.

I picked them up gently
so as not to pry them apart ….
not sure what the glue might be that was holding them together.
And I continued my run.

I wondered if the gentle jarring from each step
would be enough to rub the two apart.
Because we are jarring aren’t we? … in relationships?
Any motion … even the simple forward motion of life …
can disrupt the glue that holds lives … friendships …. marriages … together.
It takes work to keep disruption from tearing us apart.

And there are those times when a friendship may remain strong ..
when only one of the two involved
is in a position to bear the weight of the union.
But, ultimately, one cannot carry the burden for long …
lest there be a ripping away and separation.

This is friendship.
This is parenting.
This is siblingship.
This is marriage.

Especially in marriage, the beauty
and the strength
in the unity
creates a unique
and unusual physical illusion
of “one”
that scripture tells us is a reality
in the spiritual realm. (Mark 10:8)
This is why being equally yoked is of utmost importance.  (2 Corinthians 6:14)
I think of my parents and marital heroes of mine.
I think of my past and what my marital relationship looked like.
I think of my children and how I yearn that, of all the Biblical principles,
THIS is one they will take with the utmost seriousness and sobriety.

Like Jesus spoke in parables, paralleling the spiritual and physical worlds, God convicts and teaches me through similar daily events.

And I guess, there is that important reminder
that any relationship can be lead astray
lest we keep our eyes focused on God …
heeding his Spirit’s guidance along the way.


I took a few photos while at the tow path ….
and then tucked the leaves away.
They now sit on my coffee table … inside a sweet nest of fruit …
to remind me of three
and the importance of always listening for His voice
in any relationship in life.


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