When my friend Tracy Erwin and I left London, we boarded trains at Wimbledon where the platforms were up long flights of stairs. We were struggling with our luggage. There were men who came along, noticed the struggle, and helped without a word – carrying our heaviest pieces to the top and then with a nod walked away to board their train.
They didn’t insist on seeing us to the airport or helping us find a seat. They just met a need and went on their way. They didn’t get codependent or worry if we’d make it. They simply gave help and left us to own the next part of the journey.
When we try to carry others burdens too far, it weighs us down. Their luggage is not our responsibility, their life not ours to own. It belongs to them. We can come alongside temporarily with aid and then hand back what belongs to someone else.
When we carry someone’s burden or vision longer than we should, we get out of balance in our own life, and their “stuff” and ours becomes too heavy. Our walk is off and we stumble, knowing it’s time to release what belongs to someone else. I would not have wanted the kind men in London to see me all the way home — I wanted to have that adventure on my own and needed to experience it.
It’s a wonderful way to live in community – to help others when their burdens are overwhelming, and then release them to carry their daily responsibility for themselves. Pray, help, release makes the walking easier for all.
Carry each others (overwhelming) burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ…. for each one should carry their own load (daily responsibility). Galatians 6:2-5
Thankful for courage to let go… for kindness of strangers… for the owning of my life… for the ability to help as God leads… and for words that encourage others who are walking out their own journey in this temporary place.
Lighter than before,
(c) Robin Lawrimore, July 2012