Laurie Barker Copeland
The song we just completed singing transformed the gathering of sweaty, irritable people. Denise and I looked at each other, as if to say, "What just happened here?" We noticed the tears in each other's eyes as we waited in the huge crowd for the stadium doors to open. We felt it: the "1+1=3 Principle".
The 1+1=3 Principle happens when two God-loving people combine forces, creating a mysterious chemistry where together they can accomplish much more than they could separately. But it's not because these two people are so inexplicably successful. When God is the focus of hearts and conversations, He works even when we are unaware. I believe it's this principle that God inspired the author of Ecclesiastes to write:
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
Denise and I met when our kids were in preschool together. Now they're in separate high schools. Our homes and lives are about 30 minutes from each other. What lies between us is a maze of congested traffic, baseball practices and the day-to-day juggling of families and lives. Yet when we get together, it's the 1+1=3 Principle all over again. As Denise and I talk and share our concerns, monumental problems become smaller. When we brainstorm, thoughts that were log-jammed become unclogged and ideas begin flowing. The funniest things happen and the grandest of things happen.
This principle came into clear focus the day Denise's family of five and my family of three were waiting outside a stadium for a political rally to begin. Along with 7,000 other people, we were standing together like an overstuffed box of matchsticks. The Florida heat made the long wait even more unbearable. Our feet were tired, our bodies were sweaty and our moods were cranky (And those were just the adults!).
Denise and I decided that singing would help pass the time, so we began our repertoire with "God Bless America." Neither Denise nor I would have begun a song on our own, but we knew that the other would pick up the tune before the second note escaped our mouths. Quickly, our kids began singing along, and then our spouses and neighbors joined in. Very soon the crowd packed in around us were singing the melody while swaying back and forth.
Like a flame on a single candle touching another candle, our song spread within seconds to thousands. Suddenly, the irritable crowd was transformed into a unified, reverent body. The volume rose and swelled as if the Divine Conductor led it.
Denise and I looked at each other, tears filling our eyes. Was this sudden change of the crowd's mood because of Denise's and my virtuoso singing abilities? Hardly. No, the group's change of attitude was because God used the willing instruments of two friends to create a brief glimpse into what we could be when we join together with Him in song.
"All the earth will worship You and sing praises to You. They will sing praises to Your name." Psalm 66:4
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Laurie Barker Copeland is a humorous author, storyteller, actress and shower singer. She can be found working her storytelling craft, performing The Christian's Secret to a Messy Life, a series of funny and redeeming true-life stories. She co-authored The Groovy Chicks Road Trip to Peace, The Groovy Chicks' Road Trip to Love (Cook Communications) and contributed to nine other books. Raised in a Christian home, Laurie got serious with God at age 13. With a degree in Communications from Geneva College, she specialized in theatre, public relations and having a mischievously good time. www.LaurieBarkerCopeland.com.
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