The Messenger Zine - UNITY / Issue 16
Humility in Unity
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3 NIV
One of my favourite memories is having the opportunity to work with a group of Scouts in my previous job as an allied educator. For Job Week, we split the boys up into groups to be supervised by the teachers.
My group of five was a mix of students from all academic classes and a bright and cheerful boy, Ryan (not his real name) who has autism. I was also new to it all and more than a little nervous as to what to expect.
I paired the boys up and got them to rehearse a simple script to ask the residents for jobs. In the end, it turned out that everybody was just as scared to approach strangers. But everyone tried anyway.
Ryan was the last to try. Since everyone had already had a chance and we were running out of time, I asked Ryan if he wanted to give it a go. He thought about it, sighed, but plucked up his courage. The door he knocked on was of a family with a dog.
The other boys were scared of dogs so I asked Ryan, “you’re the only one who can do this for our team, can we take it?” For the second time that day, Ryan overcame his fear and said ok. He took out the trash by himself, running out, with a big friendly dog behind him. We all cheered.
Everyone had contributed to the event. My boys weren’t the fastest and didn’t collect the most money but they worked together, each stepping up to the plate when it required courage and love for the team.
The eloquent ones helped us with approaching more families, the street-smart ones found us a way out of the building when we got lost, and Ryan saved us when no one else could do the job. Everyone’s confidence grew that day.
Their unity was richly rewarded! A little boy whose brother attended the school, was delighted to see the boys and gave them packets cold Milo. The photos I took that day showed the boys sipping their cold beverages and beaming.
Unity cannot exist without humility. We have to recognise that each one of us has our own unique part to play in the Body of Christ. When we set aside our differences to love, support, and honour each other, we can be stronger together.
Dear Lord, open the eyes of our hearts to know that we are deeply loved by You. Reveal to us who You have made us to be and help us to find our voice and part in the Body of Christ. Help us to love and honour one another, to walk in love, humility, and true unity in Jesus’ love and name. Amen.
“No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” 1 John 4:12 NLT
Will & Well
Will & Well, founded in 2017 by Elisa Lim, is a clothing company that seeks to meet diverse fashion needs by rethinking fashion. By incorporating function with fashion, Will & Well fashions innovative and personalised solutions to cater to specific needs.
Hello! Could you tell us what Will & Well is all about?
We design and innovate products with the forethought of minorities. We also produce solutions to meet the needs of our clients, innovating and creating products to fill the gaps that we identify in our community.
What is the ethos behind Will & Well? Could you share more about it?
At Will & Well, we really value our team, it is the only reason why we are still around. Our team is everything and it has been amazing to look back at how each team member came to be a part of us. I always think that is it through divine appointments that each of them are onboard, whether or not they are Christians.
Our aim is to provide our products and services to the South East Asian region. That might look like a decade-long mission, but we will slowly get there. The reason for specifically targeting South East Asia is because in the West, there are already these kinds of solutions and designers who are pay attention to similar issues. However, in Singapore and South East Asia, it is not as established an industry, so that is where we really want to focus.
What does the name Will & Well stand for? How did God call you to start it?
The name Will and Well started as a spontaneous idea/meme by a friend when we worked on our Final Year Project (FYP) together. It was cute enough for FYP but when it was time to incorporate it as a business, I had to process what Will and Well means for myself and the business. It took a while of asking the Lord what it meant and if I should look for a new name for the business.
But there was one day when things got really tough and I felt like it was just too hard to go on. The Lord comforted me with these assuring words that if I have the will to continue to serve Him through Will and Well, then He will make it well for me. That encouragement took me through that milestone and also is the conviction to the name of Will and Well because it suddenly clicked that as long as our clients have the will to live a good life then we will be here to make it well for them.
What does a united or inclusive community look like to Will & Well? How does your faith shape your beliefs and design practice?
To us, a united and inclusive community is about having a lot of understanding, listening and honesty. It is very important for everyone to be able to communicate our thoughts honestly. At Will & Well, we hear, listen, and observe the needs and environment of our clients. This takes place through interviews, questions, and interactions with the direct primary users, as well as their caregivers. Research is an essential part of our process and what we take pride in. It is our design practice that makes our brand all inclusive.
We love the concepts of Enabling Designs and Adaptive Fashion that Will & Well believes in. Could you share more about the #BeTheDifference campaign and how our readers can be a part of it?
The #BeTheDifference campaign is super exciting! The idea started from someone who learnt about our brand and loved the things we do at Will & Well, but also understood that the people who have need our clothes are not always able to access them due to the high cost involved. He reached out to let us know that he would like to sponsor the creation of these apparels and solutions for those who may need it. So we decided to call out to the community in support.
To those who do not live or work day to day with somebody with disabilities, this is a way to get to understand what an inclusive society means. If you check out our wardrobe, our price point is rather high compared to fast fashion. However, as more people adopt the products, it will help to bring the costs down (#WearTheDifference movement). So this campaign supports these people to adapt their daily dressing needs into a lifestyle. That is essentially the point of our work: to make available a new lifestyle that is more accessible, comfortable and dignified. So readers, please check us out and be part of the campaign with us to support a more inclusive community!
The brand story of The Commandment Co is to ‘Send A Message. Inspire Someone.’ What is one message you would like to leave our readers with on the topic of unity?
When I think of unity, I think of my cute little team who share the same heartbeat for the company and people that we serve. That and other little things they do add up to make a good workplace environment and culture. But I think it really starts from the understanding of where the other person’s heart comes from. Perhaps if everyone could seek that out more clearly, then maybe we would all be a little bit more united!
The Two Brothers
Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was their first serious rift in 40 years. It began with a small misunderstanding but grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into a bitter argument followed by weeks of silence.
One morning, there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days work,” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?”
“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better. I want you to build me a fence - an 8-foot fence - so I won’t need to see his place anymore.”
The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.” The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.
The carpenter worked hard all day measuring, sawing, and nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge, stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work - handrails and all - and the neighbour, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.” The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other’s hand.
They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother. “I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “ but I have many more bridges to build.”
Every day. we have the choice of building fences or bridges. One leads to isolation and the other to openness. Which one do you choose?
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
(Adapted from http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/stories.html#Story61)