Bearing one another’s burdens

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
Bearing one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
It is a busy time of the year. Beginning with plans for Thanksgiving, family, food, fun, and for many, football, take center stage. Those elaborate doings morph into the Christmas Season, and gifts, travel, plays, musical presentations, and more food for family and friends, followed by celebrations welcoming the New Year.

People are pleasantly tired, and often a bit overwhelmed. Some we meet are at their absolute breaking point and find themselves the most lonely, sad, stressed, hurt, and heartbroken at this time of the year. There are many reasons for these lost feelings and published statistics prove these facts.

Ghosts of Christmases past, unfulfilled expectations, deaths of loved ones, lack of money, poor planning, health issues, relocations, changes in family dynamics, age, and a host of other reasons simply make life difficult. Please don’t be smug and superior. Trust me on this one – Any one of these things can happen to any if us at any time. Or, God forbid, a combination of them could completely stop us cold.

Bottom line is that while many are happy and joyous during the holiday season, others are sad and lonely, and find themselves in a threatening position teetering on dangerous slopes of despair. They question whether they should go on with life or simply give up trying. We meet these folks everywhere we go from home to work, from school to church, from our neighborhoods to points of travel.

As I was thinking about the people I know and love, the Lord seemed to quieten my mind and give me four simple words to ponder.

Aware
Alert
Active
Alleviate
Can we train our minds to be aware of the needs of others during the busiest time of the year? Do we care enough to even try to see beneath the mask some wear so well? Are we willing to take the time to ask the hard questions?

Are we too indoctrinated to tradition and expectations to truly be alert to slight signals being emitted by a hurting heart? Can we listen and care enough to get involved? Or, do we just smile and offer a “God bless you,” with no real commitment?

It costs something to become active in the life of a broken person. Perhaps, at times, the cost is more than we are willing to invest. There are the long and oft burdensome late night talks, the repeated explanations, the encouragement, teaching, challenging, and genuine, heartwrenching hurts, failures, and beginning anew.

But, when we realize our involvement just might have been the catalyst God chose to use to help alleviate the pain, save a life, turn a hard corner, or chart a new course, for another person, we become more willing to try again.

Given, most of us are busy. But, we shouldn’t become too busy, too self-centered, too tired ourselves, to be kind, caring, observant, and patient. The best gift we can give another human being is love. Let’s begin the New Year of 2020 with these four words stored safely in our hearts.

Happy New Year.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or
[email protected] com

[12-23-2019]

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