There is so much suffering in the world, so much hurt. There are so many tears and terrors that the weight of it, as Dr. Tackett says, would crush us. If we heard the blood of the innocent crying out from the ground, the sound would deafen us. If we felt the ache in each human soul it would destroy us. But God, the Christ who paid it all, also sees it all, hears it all, takes it all in. He cannot and will not turn a blind eye to our pain. What a mighty God we serve to bear so much and still want us to bring more, to bring everything.
Perhaps it is grace, this natural indifference so much of us carry. Perhaps growing callous is a kindness. We are not meant to bare the grief and sin of the world. It has already been carried, and covered, and laid down in blood at the foot of the cross.
But there is another kindness, when the Holy Spirit grants us the privilege to bear with one another.
It requires faith, this laying down of all our burdens, so that we can take up the cares of another. Will God really be enough? Will He care for me, so I can pour out for them?
He will. He is enough.
And He is not asking us for endless, aimless wandering. When in Galatians 6 He asks us to “bear one another’s burdens,” He doesn’t mean pick up the load and wander after the person as she meanders loops in the parking lot.
I once went grocery shopping with a friend. I scooped up six of her grocery bags, we walked out into the parking lot, and she promptly lost her car. Around and around we went. Six grocery bags began to feel like sixty. My servant heart metamorphed into a sarcastic heart. By the time she found her car, I had deep ridges impressed in my palms from the weight of her junk.
You walk the path to the cross, you prayerfully run to the altar, so you memorize the way. No getting side-tracked, no getting lost. You learn the way, so you can shoulder their burdens and walk them, step by purposeful step, to the throne room. You teach them to kneel, and lay it down at the feet of the King. You teach them to keep their eyes fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith because your eyes are fixed.
You are the map. The map to the altar. The map to the throne. The map to the God who sees and loves. The God who hears and forgives. The God who lifts the weight of sin and pain, and puts it on His own shoulders.
And you are the map because you’ve been there before. And you know the way.