We were one of the first to go. As we walked up a little incline and then down and then up again, I booted Sean out of the wagon because I was getting tired already and we were going to be walking a fair bit. We were told that it was very slow but as we began walking, we realized that it really wasn’t slow at all. When I told him he needed to walk, I also told him that I had a basket of candy and book marks and he was to feel free to go out into the crowd and pass them out at random - as much as he wanted. I wasn’t sure he would.
But suddenly he grabbed a handful of candy and started weaving through the crowd handing it out. He ran back to me for more. He ran back for book marks and started handing them to random people in the crowd and giving them to upraised hands just like a rock star. He kept running back to me, exclaiming, “This is awesome Mom. This is pleasing me so much. This is just pleasing me!” He ended up running way more than all of us who were walking in a straight line trying to move forward with our wagons and not look or feel like we were going to pass out in the heat. I looked at him as he moved in and out of crowd of people. He was smiling, his eyes were shining and I am sure for about an hour at least, he completely forgot how stuffed up he was and how much he just didn’t feel up to it. He became alive doing something valuable.
My mind was brought back to a time years ago, when my heart was heavy about something personal I was going through. I felt pressed in my spirit and because of that, my whole body felt heavy. I felt like I was walking through molasses as I was walking through my day. I slowly walked to the photo centre in Costco, - my mind a trillion miles away. The lady that helped me asked how I was doing and I politely said, “Fine. And how are you?” glancing up at her as I asked her.
I never expected an answer. Never even wanted one - at least not a truthful one - especially since I hadn’t given her a truthful one myself. I don’t know why, but she thought I cared. And she started to cry. Right there in Costco, she started to cry. We moved aside to a corner and I looked her in the eyes, now really caring. I asked her what was wrong and she commenced to tell me that it was the anniversary of her daughter’s death - a life cut far too short as she was just 20 when she died. I looked at her and my heart ached as I tried to imagine that kind of grief, watching a daughter waste away from a horrible disease. I told her I was sorry and that I would pray for her and then wiping away her tears, she had to go back to work and I went on my way. Her story, however, wouldn’t leave me. I thought about it for the next couple of hours so I went home and made a card and wrote in it that I would be thinking about her and praying for her and gave her my phone number. I walked back into Costco, to give it to her. When I got to where she was working, she had already gone home. I gave it to someone else to give to her and prayed silently that it would reach her at a time when she needed to read it (which I found out later that it did exactly that.) and then I just went home. But do you know what happened? I went home a lighter person. I went home with a spring in my step. I went home with love in my heart because I had helped someone. I had reached outside of my pain and helped someone who was going through something far more painful than I. It released me. It brought some healing. It refreshed me and filled me up. Suddenly I saw some perspective.
That’s what I saw in Sean that day. He reached outside of how he was feeling in order to bring happiness and lightness to someone else. And in helping someone else, he helped himself more.
And suddenly I realized something. The Bible talks about the fact that His burden is easy and his yoke is light.
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30"For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:30
That verse has always been a mystery to me. Nothing about a burden or a yoke sounds easy or light. And today I think I realize more of what it means. I think that his burden is love. That’s what his burden is. If we are yoked or tethered to Him - He IS love!! So we will become that to those around us. His commission and life’s purpose for us has always been love. Just love those around you. No judgements. No preconceived rules. No harsh assumptions. Simply love your neighbor as yourself - one of His highest commandments.
All the other things that we add to our lives that become a burden and a yoke to us are all added things and programs and busyness, when all he really wants us to do it reach out and love. All he really wants us to do is take on His mission - take on His call and love from wherever we are to wherever they are. Love. When we take on that burden and that yoke, something happens to us from the inside out and we find ourselves becoming free. We find ourselves healing. Suddenly we are not empty anymore. Suddenly, and I don’t know how it happens, that the more we give out, the more we gain. When we are truly motivated by what God wants us to be motivated by, it releases us and frees us and fills us, taking us to heights we had never dreamed of.
So, today when I find myself exhausted and spread too thin, I am going to remember to take on his burden. Because I know what love does.
|Sean giving out the candy and bookmarks.|