Not since the 1930’s has there been a generation who, in some form or fashion, wasn’t familiar with the adventures of billionaire bachelor Bruce Wayne and his quest to clean up Gotham City under the guise of the caped crusader. Few superheroes have gone through more reboots and evolutions than Batman, but through it all, one piece of the story has stood the test of time: the Bat Signal.
No matter what version of Batman is the “real” one in your mind, you will never see a version where Commissioner Gordon doesn’t have access to the giant spotlight that served as his direct connection to the city’s greatest crime fighter. When there was a need, simply flip the switch and rest assured that help was on the way. And isn’t there something comforting about that? Knowing that you have someone who will reliably show up, time after time, whenever they are needed is something that resonates with everyone. At Clear Creek, we do our best to make this a reality for everyone we serve. We may not use capes or have insanely high-powered spot lights on top of our houses, but we do have a tool that is just as effective: our small groups.
Our groups have begun to master the art of reliably showing up, time after time, whenever someone in their group needs them. Most often, we see this during life’s big moments be they happy or sad. Typically when someone in one of our young family small groups gets ready to welcome a new addition to the family, a baby shower and a schedule to take them meals after the birth is already planned before most people even know they are pregnant. We know stories from groups who, after the death of an elderly family member, have spent hours helping to clean out personal affects all while being a comforting presence for the group member who experienced the loss. There are stories of long days and nights in the hospital waiting room and joyous anniversary celebrations. When big things happen, our small groups show up. And though it is such a blessing to have people show up for you when it is expected, sometimes the most meaningful times are when they show up to help with life’s more subtle needs.
One of our small group leaders took someone in their group out to lunch to help them with their resume after they lost their job. We have had group members bring dinner to the family of a teacher during the first week of school just to make life a little less crazy. Groups will set calendar reminders so that they can begin praying for someone in their group the moment they walk into a job interview. We have seen them meal prep for those who have dietary restrictions, open their homes to one another when major house repairs have them displaced, and drop everything they are doing to help someone in their group get ready to put their house on the market. On top of that, there are countless stories of phone calls, text messages, notes, and e-mails that seem to always come “just at the right time.” They reliably show up, time after time, whenever they are needed.
The Bat Signal is a fun piece of a fantasy story that many of us have grown to know and love, but what is most incredible is what it has come to represent. There is such comfort in knowing that with the metaphorical “flip of a switch,” there is a group of real life superheroes ready to help you face whatever comes next.