“Carry each other’s burdens,
and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”
Many years ago whilst travelling away on holiday we came across a woman toiling up a country hill with a large sack of potatoes balanced on her head. My father stopped the car and offered her a lift, saying that the potatoes could easily travel on the roof-rack. A bit hesitantly she accepted the offer and joined us inside. We travelled easily up the hill and along the sand road for a while until she pointed out the cluster of round huts where she lived. Very gratefully she took up her load again and walked more easily away across the fields.
For the three boys in the back seat who had to crush together to accommodate the extra passenger, who was both large and obviously very strong, the end came not too soon. However even we could appreciate the difference between our slight discomfort and the strain she had been under for so much longer.
Sometimes helping someone is as simple as that. At other times it might involve some greater time and involvement – or even less, such as a smile and a friendly greeting and appreciation of some act of service. And then of course there is the added option of praying with someone or just for them as God draws our attention to them and we notice a sadness or expression of pain.
Everyone we meet will be carrying a personal burden of one form or another. There are so many ways in which we can lighten their load, or their sense of their load, with a bit of imaginative caring. When Jesus told us to love one another He was really telling us to engage with each other in ways that were life giving, life enhancing and life healing. For as He came that we might have life and have it to the full (John 10:10) so He wants to express that some focus in us and through us.
Look at the people around you – and listen to their silent voices, and to God’s prompts.
Father You have blessed and helped me in so many ways over so many years and through so many people, Please help me to be a blessing to others so that their hearts may be lifted and their lives made easier as a result. Amen.