The longer I'm in ministry-and really just the longer I live-the more I realize that everyone carries burdens. Some are more tragic than others, but everyone, no matter how happy they appear, has pain in his or her life. King David gave expression to some of his pain when he wrote, God, God...my God! Why did you dump me miles from nowhere? Doubled up with pain, I call to God all the day long. No answer. Nothing. I keep at it all night, tossing and turning. -Psalm 22:1, THE MESSAGE
Yet, while pain is a universal experience, I also realize that many such burdens are hidden and carried alone, which often only exacerbates the pain. I am grateful that I have people in my life with whom I can share my burdens when I open myself up to them and become vulnerable. Because of such friendships, I know that I am a fortunate, blessed man.
One burden I carry is losing my dad to Alzheimer's.
I had lunch with him on Friday. He's lost most of his memory, both short term and long term, and barely knows who I am. God bless his wife, who provides such great care, along with all the nurses who tend to him. Still, it is so painful to watch, like a slow death.
I encourage you, if you are able, to share your burdens with others. Be vulnerable. Take a risk. And not only share your burdens with others, but share the burdens of others. In doing so, community is formed, burdens become lighter, and life is richer.