I recently posted about walking on the track with tears and healing. My own hurt and healing, tears and trials, sadness and strength.
But when I walked the same track a couple weeks ago, tears began to stream down my cheeks, and it had nothing to do with me. I was burdened by the struggles of so many friends.
- friends continuing to feel the ripple effects of the death of children
- friends sitting beside their parents who would soon be gone
- friends facing numbing diagnoses and the difficult decisions that go with it
- friends who had lost a life partner in one way or another in the past year
- friends coping with fractured families
- friends dealing with betrayals and lost friendships
- friends burdened to help others but uncertain how to begin to meet the overwhelming needs
I don’t know how God handles it all.
Well, obviously, he is God. But I had a moment of glimpsing so much pain and suffering, doubt and questioning, needs and crossroads. I sank into a depth of compassion and empathy. It wasn’t an active struggle for fixing everything but a burden to share for a brief moment.
I am incredibly blessed by the relationships in my life. I get to do life with so many genuine people, and that means there is an abundance of issues facing all of us. Some are lived more publicly than others. But we all have them, whether we see them or not. And when we are willing to deeply do life with others, we not only share burdens as we walk alongside each other but we also share joy. Because it is in the context of the suffering and loss that we find contentment and peace. It is not in the absence of problems. We cannot arrive into a state of complete happiness by fixing and achieving things. That is a striving that will never be satisfied. Instead we share life completely with all its imperfections. We walk alongside people with their imperfections. We give and accept grace. We forgive and love and help. We struggle and heal and grow. Together.