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Archive for August 23rd, 2020

Do you bear the burdens of others? Do you hear the stories, the struggles and the heartaches of others and wear them like a heavy coat? When the conversation ends, do you walk to your car carrying the substance of the conversation with a friend or family member, like carrying the weight of a massive suitcase? Does your mind whisper groans to heaven … interceding for others? Do you awaken the next day exhausted, for wrestling with thoughts overburdened by another’s … burden?

Are you a burden-bearer?

That has been my week … or so. My heart so full of the stories of others that focus on my daily tasks resembles that of the animation of the speed of the Road Runner escaping Wile E. Coyote.

To process my heavy heart for one individual, I began to write them a letter. Then I realized that it could be written to all of them, for the hopes and prayers, the groans and the whispers are so similar, because when downcast hope is what we need most.

So, this is my burden bearer perspective, for those whose story is hard, from someone who is sharing your load.

I hope you know that I listened, to every single word, every pause, every tremor in your voice. I heard it all, felt it all. My heart has been living outside of my chest, beating in time to yours. When we parted I took your story home with me, carried it while I drove, while I cleaned my house, on my walk that evening, then I took it to bed … the only time I let it go was when I put it in the arms of Jesus … over, and over and over again. I want to do something to fix your story … to erase, re-write, to intervene … but I, in my human state can’t do that, I can only help you carry it … carry it to Him.

Here is what I know about Him …

He knows. He knows what is going on in your life. He knows the loss, the loneliness, the feeling of being lost. He knows your story and he knows how you got to this chapter … the mistakes made, the injuries inflicted, the dark valley you are walking through. He also knows how this story can end, how it will end.

He’s not going anywhere. He will never leave you (even though he will never force you to love him back). He is right beside you, ensuring that you are never alone. Yes, you might feel alone at times (right now), but he’s with you, closer than a a sister or brother.

He has a purpose for your life. It begins with each breath inhaled, exhaled … repeat. Some days just getting yourself out of bed is so hard, just breath through it. Some days it can seem that you are making one step forward, then two back … Put one foot in front of the other, inhale … exhale … repeat.

He loves. That is what he is, the personification of love … limitless, unconditional, always within reach. He loves you. Just as you are, in the middle of your story, as you sit on your dung heap … he loves you.

St. Augustine has said of the Psalms, “if the psalm prays, you pray; if it laments, you lament; if it exults, you rejoice; if it hopes, you hope; if it fears, you fear. Everything written here is a mirror for us.”

Weary, lonely, burdened one, with so much load to carry … know that you are not carrying it all alone. There are those who love you and who are bearing your burden with you and there is a God, the creator of heaven and earth and everything in them, who wants you to know how very loved you are … right this moment.

inhale. exhale. repeat.

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