It seems in such short supply,
The will of burdens to bear,
We might think it’s just for others,
But it’s really up to us to care.
Bearing one another’s burdens is a biblical imperative, given that the church is the essence of community. It isn’t just our duty to bear another’s burden to assist them in their distress; it is also a privilege to meet their need in every creative way imaginable.
Whenever we carry out a loving deed, for somebody in need, without thought for recompense or desire for their reciprocation, we know a kind of blessing that confirms we did the right thing. So why do we balk at it? Maybe there is scant opportunity. Perhaps we really do want to bless people but when do we get the chance, because we aren’t that well connected.
To bear another’s burdens is not meant to be something onerous.
It’s something that we are to learn to do by instinct, and, when it is still not quite instinct, then we keep working on it, to bring the will of God into being in our lives. When it is more or less instinct, it still doesn’t have to feel natural, so long as we act instinctively. Sometimes there is a lag in our attitude where we get the Holy Spirit gently admonishing us. These are the gentle reminders we all need – in the process of our caring – to right our flagging attitudes.
And why is it so important to care?
When we are the ones down and out – for probably no overall fault of our own – we will be the ones needing a leg up. Then, it’s compassion that infuses itself in and through us. Then, compassion esteems us and us to it.
Being needy is nothing to be ashamed about, as we who would seek to help would respect the dignity of them who may be helping us out – roles reversed – next. Neediness is not something exclusive to ‘weak’ people. Everyone gets a turn at being needy. Yes, everyone. Those who would plough on ahead proudly (read, stubbornly) are fooling nobody; they lack the dignity of compassion toward even themselves. There is nothing wrong with being needy in a circumstance of need.
The privilege of helping someone needy,
Is brought home the moment we realise,
We saw ourselves in their very plight,
We saw it with our own two eyes.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.