Lifou, New Caledonia.  March, 2014.
Lifou, New Caledonia. March, 2014.

Help, I need somebody, Help, not just anybody.”  They are great lyrics from the well-known Beatles song, Help.   They became a reality for me last week.

The picture above was taken after conquering a hike through thick rainforest to swim in a freshwater cave.  I was glad I had taken my walking stick, but even happier that my two son-in-laws and nephew were there to help me on this adventure.

I realised I would not have been able to traverse down or up the steep inclines without their help.  Without them I would have missed so much and never would have experienced swimming in an underground cave, taking a leap of faith and jumping into the black swimming hole.

With my legs and arms weakening from the effects of Motor Neurone Disease (read more via the “About MND/ALS” tab at,  I have come to rely more and more upon the help of others.  This experience has highlighted that all of us need the help and togetherness of others to achieve things we could never achieve on our own.

As a leader of a Church, pre-MND days, I had no hesitation in asking for help and working together with others to achieve goals and vision that were for the benefit of others.  However, asking for help for myself was, and is, a different matter.  I have always found it easier to give than to receive.  How about you?

I have realised that not being able to receive help is not only a bad character trait but is also indicative of a very limiting and dangerous attitude: pride.  Living a life trying to cope all on your own, “She’ll be right mate”, or “I’m OK”, suggests that I don’t need your help or anyone’s help.  I have come to realise, I do and we all do.

None of us can achieve anything big, courageous or challenging without the help of others.  Confident and courageous people need help and need the togetherness of others to experience life to the max.

One thing I noticed, when those three strong young men took a slower trip down and a very slow trip back up from the cave, is that even though I was a physical burden to them, they found pleasure in helping me achieve what I could never have achieved on my own.  In other words, not only do people want to help you, but they are also encouraged by the process of helping.

All the way up the track, I had to pull myself up by holding onto a strap secured to a Shannon’s back while Kaiden pushed me up from behind (literally pushing on my behind).  This left Josh carrying two heavy bags up the incline.  All the while I had a cheer squad in Glenda, Rachel, Chloe, Belinda, Rebecca and Jessica encouraging me on.

I could have said, “Don’t bother with me, I will just wait here at the top until you return.”  However, I would never have the memory and all those who helped would never have had the joy of helping someone do something they could never have done on their own.

The Bible says, in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “By yourself you’re unprotected.  With a friend you can face the worst.  Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.”  Maybe today you could lend a helping hand, or maybe you could ask for one.

We all need somebody.