I looked up the definition of ‘cord’ before I wrote this and was interested to find it described as ‘a slender length…of twisted strands…used to bind, tie, connect, or support.’ I mean, I’d assumed the whole binding and tying side of things but for some reason, those words – connect, support – struck me.
My mum and dad loved growing clematis and now I’m trying my hand at them. My dad had some ornamental black obelisks to train them up, acting as supports for the tender stems and beautiful blooms the size of my hand. This year, my most successful clematis grew up the trunk of a Rowan tree, tied softly round with green garden twine.
The string, being much the same shade as the leaves, blended into the background against the pale silver grey of the trunk. But without these supports and connections, the delicately glorious, star shaped flowers couldn’t have flourished so well.
The cord referred to in the story was meant to draw attention to the window it was tied to. Inside were the family of Rahab, a Jericho woman who had helped the Hebrew spies, and therefore the house was marked so they weren’t harmed in the latter battle.
I’m no scarlet cord. I think perhaps in my career and as a mum, I’m more like the garden twine. I’m not someone in the limelight, taking my profession in a new and amazing direction. And I’ve never seen a parent’s job as the main attraction, more of a stagehand really. My role in life is to be an almost invisible cord that provides support and connections so that others can function and function well.
My internet search for the meaning of ‘cord’ also lead me to https://www.cord.org.uk/, a peacemaking charity, which “addresses the root cause of violence in its widest sense – conflict, intimidation against others, abuses against minorities (in personal relationships or between genders), physical harm and damage.” It does so by:
- Identifying the root causes of violence and conflict in each situation • Working alongside in-country partners and grass roots, community organisations • Creating programmes that promote dignity and confidence • Empowering individuals to form community groups to be heard
So there we are, back at those powerful ideas of connection and support. What kind of cord are you?
“Bind us together, Lord…with cords that cannot be broken…bind us together with love.”