Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
- Galatians 6:2
“According to an ancient story, there was once a gateway at the entrance of a narrow passage in London over which was written, ‘No burdens allowed to pass through.’ But as one friend said to another, ‘Yet we do pass constantly with ours.’ Much later the way was converted to a broader thoroughfare. The directive to the London traveler was that the way would be far too narrow for anyone to carry packages in their arms or heavy loads on their backs. But nothing was said of the heavy load of worry upon one’s heart, or daily pressures on his shoulders. Those burdens don’t meet the eye.
“The story goes on to tell of another gate, over which is also inscribed ‘No burdens allowed.’ It is the straight gate that leads to life, and by it stands the One who opened the narrow way. He says, ‘Come. For my burden is light’ (Matthew 11:30).
“Are you dealing with invisible burdens today? Is your friend, family member or neighbor? Christ Jesus has promised to ease your burdens from you, or strengthen you to endure them. Yet, perhaps it is time for you to be Jesus to someone today. A kind word to someone who is weary, an inquiry on the phone when someone is ill; a sympathetic gesture that might even need to come from your pocketbook—all of these are means of helping to carry the burden of another. Ask God to show you where you can ease someone else’s life this week. Be ready to introduce them to the Savior.”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
The photo was taken in Maharashtra, India, not far from Mumbai. These women are probably nomadic. I have written before about how they wash clothes in the stream, long before dawn. They collect firewood about dawn so that the men can start and tend the fire. They get water for cooking and cleaning. These women worked hard all day and always seemed happy. The only woman that I saw in tears was on my second trip to India. Something had happened to cause her water pot to fall from her head. The pot was no longer full. She had to carry it in her arms. There was no one around to help her get the pot balanced back on her head. Our driver would not stop.
Could this be what the Apostle Paul was talking about in sharing each other’s burdens? At the well, the women helped each other. In the preceding and following verses, he talks about disciplining one another, repenting of sin, and gently teaching one another.
Think of the three women in the photograph? Might it be possible that only one knew how to tie knots to hold the bundles of firewood together. She shares in her friend’s burden by tying their ropes. She shares further by teaching them how to tie the knots.
Yet, I have met so many people who readily admit that they will never share their knowledge. They feel that their special knowledge is their job security. As a training manager who performed every duty of a training department, running into these ‘knowledge trolls’ made my job mind-numbingly difficult. But half the time, I learned by careful observation that the knowledge troll was hiding the fact that there was nothing to his / her “high knowledge-based job” at all. The decisions were basic commonsense, and the knowledge was mostly common knowledge that others knew anyway. Thus, he / she became a knowledge troll to make the boss think that they were the only ones that could do the job. The boss, usually a transfer from another department, had no idea and didn’t want to make waves – until the boss’s boss demanded cross-training among employees and they hired me (or hired me through contract).
In the workplace, cross-training is important in order to ensure that the work can be done when Phil is sick and Joan is on vacation. But for our church family and our neighbors, doing the things that the devotion suggested is just the tip of the iceberg. We cannot have a relationship with Jesus, unless we get to know Him. We cannot help our neighbor unless we get to know them too. You might need to do some careful observation.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.