Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
I recently had a conversation with an elderly Christian who recalled traumatic events from their childhood to me. There was sexual abuse before the age of ten, as well as other issues. This person’s mother took back the abuser into the marriage bed which had led this person to, they believed, make poor relational choices. They always felt that people only wanted to use them because that’s the only interaction they’d had with people. The result of this was low self-esteem and a feeling of unworthiness.
I fought bursting into tears as I was told their life story in just a few minutes. To think that someone at their age, old enough to be my grandparent, had suffered for so long with those burdens. All they needed, all they wanted, was someone to share it with whom they felt safe enough to tell. No judgment, just love. No advice, just listening. That’s what I did.
I carried it with me the rest of the day and even still now have it on my mind. Through prayer, with them and in my personal prayers, I’ve recalled them to our loving Father. I hope that God, somehow, shows them that they are loved, they are worthy, and they are precious to Him. They’ve lived with this burden from a young age. I only just begun helping to bear the load with them through trying to provide an empathetic environment.
Ministry is the highest calling on earth that I can imagine. God entrusts the work of His kingdom to sinful men who do their very best to be faithful to Him. Not only that, but we bridge a divide between heaven and earth by always trying to be focused on heaven while operating on earth. These burdens of our brethren we shoulder because ours have been carried by Christ. We love our neighbors because we love God, and having someone to listen who genuinely cares is so important when one bears a load under which most would drown. Giving someone a piece of ourselves is to the service of Christ because He gave all of Himself for the world.