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Faithlife Corporation

s20060108ill_Lean On Me

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Introduction

Lean On Me by Bill Withers

Born July 4, 1938, in Slab Folk, WV, Withers was the youngest of six children. His father died when he was a 13 year old teen and he was raised by his mother and grandmother. After a nine-year stint in the Navy, Withers moved to Los Angeles to pursue a music career in 1967. He recorded demos at night while working at the Boeing aircraft company where he made toilet seats. Withers wrote "Lean on Me" based on his experiences growing up in a West Virginia coal mining town. Times were hard and when a neighbor needed something beyond their means, the rest of the community would chip in and help. He came up with the chord progression while noodling around on his new Wurlitzer electric piano. The sound of the chords reminded Withers of the hymns that he heard at church while he was growing up.

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain/We all have sorrow /But if we are wise/We know that there's always tomorrow.

Lean on me, when you're not strong/And I'll be your friend/I'll help you carry on/For it won't be long/'Til I'm gonna need/Somebody to lean on.

Please swallow your pride/If I have things you need to borrow/For no one can fill those of your needs/That you don't let show.

Lean on me, when you're not strong/And I'll be your friend/I'll help you carry on/For it won't be long/'Til I'm gonna need/Somebody to lean on.

If there is a load you have to bear/That you can't carry/I'm right up the road/I'll share your load/If you just call me/So just call on me brother, when you need a hand,

We all need somebody to lean on/I just might have a problem that you'd understand/We all need somebody to lean on.

Lean on me when you're not strong/And I'll be your friend/I'll help you carry on/For it won't be long/Till I'm gonna need/Somebody to lean on

An Illustration of God’s grace on me to care for others

I had come to Vienna after a two-week illness in a little Austrian village.  I had spent most of my travel money on medicine and doctors and used my last bit to take a train to Vienna.  I had no clue as to where I could find my friends who had been waiting for me earlier.  I was lost and hungry and depressed.  As I was standing in one of the street car stations in the center of the city, tired, discouraged, and trying to figure out what to do, a little, old wrinkled woman (whose job it was to sweep out the station) came over to me and asked if I was hungry.  Even before I could answer, she took her lunch from a brown bag and offered me half.  I was moved.  She not only helped my aching hunger, but lifted my spirit in an unforgettable way.  I have never forgotten her -- the warmth of her face, the graciousness of her gift, the youthful sparkle in her eyes.  We talked for more than an hour about her life.  It had not been easy.  She was raised in the country, knowing nothing but hard work on a farm.  She had lost her husband and two sons in the Resistance.  Only her daughter had survived.  She was thankful, she said, for many things.  She was at peace with her story.  Finally, I asked her why she offered me her lunch.  She said simply, "Jesu is mein Herr.  Gott ist gut."  (Jesus is my Lord, God is good.) She understood and lived the story of Jesus in a way that the most sophisticated scholars could never do.  Her faith touched mine.  Who was it, after all, that I met that day in Vienna?  From Finding Hope Again by Roy Fairchild

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