Bear Whose Burden?

I received many comments from bereaved parents on yesterday’s post. Some thanked me for the reminder of how we who grieve must love hurting people regardless of the source of their hurt.

Others commented that there is no comparison between the loss of a child and a young adult going off to college. One man stated he was insulted that I would compare them.

I’m sorry he found my article insulting. Especially since I agree with him that there is no comparing grief, or there shouldn’t be. Not for we who claim Christ.

My whole point is we who grieve should not compare — not when we are deciding how we respond to others who are suffering. 

We cannot, as Christians, try to determine if another human is worthy of our love based on the degree to which they suffer. It is not my place to judge if their pain is bad enough to warrant my compassion. If I have died with Christ…if I no longer live but Chrsit lives in me, the life I now live is by faith. I must do as Christ did — He loved people. He cared for the poor, the sick, and the grieving without regard to His own needs or suffering. 

Jesus Christ became sin that I might become the righteousness of God. He redeemed me by becoming the curse. He did not say that my life, my pain, my suffering is nothing compared to the torture and pain He would go through as He was crucified. 

As He hung on the cross, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who knew no sin, did not say, “God, they got themselves into this mess. Their suffering is nothing like what I am going through.” No! 

He said, “Father, forgive them. For they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.  

Galatians 5:-15 | NIV

My response to another suffering person should never be, “My pain is worse than yours, so I don’t care that you are hurting. Your pain is not worth my compassion. You should just get over it.”

As a follower of Jesus, my response to any other hurting person should be, “How can I love them? How can I help carry their burden?” 

As I begin to heal in my grief, I will be able to reach out to love and serve others more. And as I reach out to love and serve others, I begin to heal more in my grief as do they. Then they are able to reach out to others who are hurting, and the begin helping themselves heal. Thus begins a beautiful cycle of increased love and compassion for my fellow man. 

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:-6 | NIV

4 thoughts on “Bear Whose Burden?

  1. I think it is easy to react from the depths of our own grief, believing that ours is unique and far worse than anyone else has ever experienced. I grieved when my first child left the nest, but I know very well it was not in the same way as if he had died. Still, it was grief. It was hard. And then I went through it three more times, and each one had me dealing with grief all over again, a different way each time. No, we can’t compare ourselves to others. If we do, someone has to win, and someone has to lose. Grief is not about winning or losing. It’s about suffering, and it’s about helping someone else through their suffering when we can.

    Liked by 1 person

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