do you ever realize you're not a child any more? you have a moment where you know you have crossed the threshold into adulthood? that your problems no longer revolve around who will ask you to homecoming or if you'll get an A on your calculus test, but have become real, adult problems. that you have real, adult responsibilities, and people treat you like a real, live adult.
I've been learning a lot about what it looks like to be a friend - what it looks like to try to be love in living form to people who are suffering. it's a hard lesson. a lesson that I'm not sure I'm getting, that I know I definitely don't have down, and one that I think I will learn throughout my entire lifetime. how do you help carry another's burdens? how do you help them with their real, adult problems? problems your naive little self didn't realize really existed outside of movies and story plots.
I don't have any concrete answer. I don't know much at all, actually. but I do know that last night as prayed about all the hurt and brokenness that I've seen and heard about, I felt a strange, strange peace. I saw an image of a person carrying a yoke. a heavy yoke that was so burdensome the person was about to collapse. and then I saw others get under that yoke, too. I could see the strain lifted from the original bearer as the team pressed on, bearing that yoke together. the image brought me to tears. I feel so incredibly and overwhelmingly grateful to have such great people in my life that help me carry my burdens and the burdens of others. after feeling bogged down, a conversation with a friend so very dear to my heart uplifted me. I could feel her slip under the yoke and nudge it up. thank you, dear Lord, for Godly friends - compassionate friends. and I pray that you would help me to be one of those friends to those who so dearly need it.
and I am reminded of the ultimate-burden-carrier.
"come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - matthew 11:25-30