Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
-- Ecclesiastes 4:12
I am the middle of three siblings in the Thuente family. As a child, I was often content to sit alone in the corner of the living room, even though I wasn't in trouble. My dad would ask me what I was doing, and I'd tell him I was "thinking." "What are you thinking about?" "Nothing..." "Then when do you know when you're done?" I'd just shrug, and contemplate some more.
In a home with two sisters growing up with an older brother, alliances are continuously being formed, and eventually someone gets left out. Our brother would find some reason to try to pick a fight with my sister and me. If my sister and I happened to be in alliance at the time, the fight-picking would not be very intense. BiggieBrother knew that his two sisters were able to fend him off ... most of the time. However, there were times when he would try to wear us down with his persistence. One tactic he used was to try to get either my sister or me to take his side. "If you let me do this, I'll be your friend..." We all knew that two was better than one. We also each knew that being the "one" would be devastating ... it meant that you didn't have a friend.
Even in early childhood we know that we were not created to be alone all of the time, but to have relationships with one another.
We know the comfort and security of having friends. But we also gain a sense that having only one friend is not good enough. We started our mornings with the famous breakfast trio "Snap Crackle and Pop!" We are told the story of the Three Musketeers with the motto "One for all, and all for one!" We watch the Three Stooges on television, and realize that if there weren't three Stooges, there may as well be no Stooges. Each trio, united in their own purpose, was inseparable. Thinking of any of them in terms of only two is unthinkable. (Whoever heard of "Snap-Pop!" in the cereal bowl?)
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of assisting an "experienced" citizen on my job. When she mentioned that she was a triplet, I recognized her as Millie Boyd, the only surviving Del Rubio Triplet. I had seen these charming identical sisters perform at a local restaurant several years earlier. They rose to notoriety due mostly to their campy style of dress and their goofy interpretations of songs. Think about it - three women in matching hot-pants and go-go boots, performing songs such as Devo's "Whip It" and Madonna's "Like a Virgin." And it was good, clean entertainment!
During my too-brief conversation with Millie, she told me of how she and her two sisters never married because they couldn't stand to be apart. They chose a career in performing because that was the only thing they could do where the three could be together. I found this quote from Millie's sister Eadie:
"It's obvious that we were meant to serve God by being together. It reminds me of the blessed Trinity and the sense that each one is individual, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. But the three together is God. That's the same thing with us three. Each one is individual, and it's our individuality that makes the act what it is. But it's the three together that make the act. The three make the whole. We've sensed that ever since we were little kids, that the three make the whole."
Most people that we have a relationship with are not triplets with nearly unbreakable bonds. But we do have access to an eternal Cord of Three Strands that will never, ever break, and that is the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. When we feel overpowered or defeated, tie a knot in this Cord, and hold on tight!