Virtual Voices

Bearing one another's burdens

Faith & Inspiration

Three days ago I lost my wisdom in the form of two impacted lower teeth that had to be surgically removed. Suffice it to say, it was not a procedure I was looking forward to, nor has the recovery been all that much fun either.

It never ceases to amaze me that it takes a forced event like this to make me really relax. I've napped more this week than I have in my past 36 years. I've watched movies with my family without simultaneously attempting to multitask. I've asked for help.

That could be the big one, after all---asking for help. It isn't that easy to do. Asking for help implies a certain weakness and the inability to do something for yourself.

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My family has been super-great about anticipating needs and responding to requests, and I'm trying not to take advantage of that to an extreme (though I will confess to getting used to the concept of ice cream on demand).

But I do wonder why, after all, is it so difficult to involve the very people who love me best in caring for me in a way that loves me best? Why am I so hesitant to allow this to happen? Why does it take surgery (albeit, minor) to allow it to happen at all?

Recently I received an email from a friend who is about seven months pregnant with her fourth child. Her husband is currently going through training for the Navy chaplaincy program and has been gone for several weeks. To top it off, my friend hasn't been sleeping well either. In a moment of desperation, she emailed some friends and confessed her need for help. She confessed she was tired, lonely, overwhelmed. Her floor needed swept. She needed her friends to be family for her.

I was out of town when I got her email, so sadly there wasn't anything I could do for her except one thing: I could affirm her decision to seek help.

Asking for help isn't an easy thing to do. It means giving our pride a little beating and admitting we can't do everything we thought we could. I was proud of her for admitting that and seeking help in her weakness.

I know for a fact that if someone asks me for help, I'm more than willing to give it (often I don't know there is a need until someone makes it known). I'm seeing now that the reverse is often also true: I need to make my needs known to receive help from others, because others often don't know there's a need.

Galatians 6:2 says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

Sometimes we all need a helping hand . . . the hard part is learning how to ask for one.

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