How do we lift one another’s burdens? First, I look back at my life. For me I automatically think of an experience with my 3 year old daughter. We knew her body was not working properly for a while and had been searching for answers with no avail. Finally we got some, but I wasn’t convinced it was the entire story.
One Friday morning I took my daughter to the hospital for another test. I remember the spot on the highway where I had a very distinct impression that the test results were going to be bad. I looked at her and cried a few tears. Then we were there.
This was the first time performing this test. I didn’t have time to think about that impression. I was focused on what was going on and how to comfort my young child in this new situation.
As I waited for the test to be administered I watched the clock. I brought a book to read, but I couldn’t. I noticed it was past the time when the test should have been completed. I saw some of the hospital staff working with my child pass by my waiting room glancing at me. I knew, then again, they had something to tell me that wasn’t good. I just wanted them to come let me know.
Finally the news was given and I needed to take my 3 year old to another hospital immediately for surgery that day or the next. A team was waiting for our arrival to discuss things in more depth.
I remember the nurse asking me if I was alright as she walked us to my car and gave me a hug – as if she had done this before. I didn’t cry then. I didn’t quite understand what the outcome was going to be – I hadn’t processed everything – I hadn’t weighed the odds to determine how I should react. I wasn’t worried about that. I wasn’t worried about me.
I looked at my 3 year old feeling so incredibly bad for the situation she was in and what she was about to experience. That is where my emotions were – with her – seeing things through her eyes. Trying to figure out what this meant for her future.
When we truly want to lift another’s burdens we need to see things through their eyes. How does this burden affect their emotional status? Are everyday tasks more difficult? These questions as well as others similar will help you get a glimpse into another’s burdens.
The answers will give you hints as to how you can help. Perhaps they just need a listening ear who forgets everything once you have parted ways.
If everyday tasks are more difficult perhaps;
- pick up a few extra groceries to deliver
- help drive or pick up kids from school
- bring a meal – homemade, fast food, freezer meal
- offer to babysit even if it is just for a mental/emotional break
- help get kids ready for school or church
- offer to take or sit by them at church to assist during the meeting
- offer to clean their bathrooms
I will be the first to admit I do feel guilty when others give of their time to me. True friends and those with true intentions of wanting to lift one another’s burdens persist. As stubborn as I am about not wanting help, I would have caved to kind persistence because I would have felt and known their true intentions. I would have LOVED the emotional break. If at first someone says no, gently, gently try again. You never know, they might let you help.