Brotherhood of the Rope




One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Prov. 18:24 NIV


Several weeks ago I was traveling through West Texas and made an unplanned stop at an established climbing area on the Pecos River Gorge. As I was scouting out the cliffs for the first time, I heard the familiar question, “You got me bro?” I came upon a couple of young climbers working a difficult crimpy sport climb. They were extremely friendly and gladly gave me a catch so I could try it on top-rope. I was struck by the comradery and trust that quickly developed with complete strangers.


There is a phenomenon that happens with climbing that I like to call the brotherhood of the rope. It is no small thing to trust someone with your life, or to have another’s life in your hands as you belay them. Competent climbers do not take this responsibility lightly. When this bond of trust is established and proven, it tends to bind people together in a profound and unique way.


This past Sunday my pastor shared a message about how we can find clarity in these confusing times. He talked about the dangers of isolation and the deep need for Christian community. I’m so thankful to be part of a church that fosters authentic Christ-centered community that is both vulnerable and transformative. I’m thankful for the small group of 4 brothers that I get to meet with and do life with twice a month. Belonging to a band of brothers that can metaphorically hold each other’s belay is so pivotal for a healthy spiritual and relational life. If you don’t have these kinds of relationships in your life currently, I would highly encourage you to seek them out. Who knows, God might just be preparing you to hold the belay for someone else.