The look on her face showed much.
Sadness filled her eyes. Shadows appeared under them as evidence of fatigue or illness. The corners of her mouth pointed downward, and her head followed.
I didn’t mean to stare, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. And as I watched her saunter by, I could nearly feel the heaviness she carried on her shoulders.
My heart went out to this fellow sojourner. Of course I didn’t know this stranger’s story, and it would have been inappropriate for me to ask. So, I whispered a few-word prayer and asked God to meet her in her need.
Ever have one of those moments when you’re reminded of something and a thousand thoughts and memories fly through your mind? This was one of them. I began recall times in my life when I was in her shoes. When I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. When I was walking through seasons of heartache, grief, sadness, and sickness. I thought of the weight of motherhood I carried when I felt I was failing at it miserably, and of wifehood when I was far from a stellar spouse. And of the days of discouragement, comparison, and fear and when I felt I was being swallowed by life itself.
I was then reminded of those who walked beside me in those times and how I believe God placed them in my life to bless me, to encourage me, and to help keep my eyes lifted to Him.
They didn’t tell me to “get over it.” They didn’t try to fix me. None of them tried to give me well-intended advice. They weren’t a burden in any sort of way. They just loved me… they simply loved me.
I want to be like that.
I want to be a blessing and not a burden.
If only I would have thought of this quicker. Maybe I would have done something to lift the burden of this woman who caught my eye. Maybe I could have offered a smile instead of a stare. Could I have acted in a way to be a blessing and not a burden to this stranger? Could have have made a small difference in her life in that moment?
Sadly, she was long gone. Will God ever cross my path with hers again? Maybe or maybe not. But I learned some important lessons that day.
God may use you or me to lift the burden of another by being a blessing.
Yes, even me. But will I be ready? Will I be willing? Will I be aware enough to do so or will I be absorbed in my own life, thoughts, troubles, burdens? I pray I’ll be that blessing someone else needs.
Let love continue among you. Don’t forget to extend your hospitality to all—even to strangers—for as you know, some have unknowingly shown kindness to heavenly messengers in this way. Hebrews 13:1-2 VOICE
Friend, we’ll look at this more tomorrow. Until then, do you have your own story to share? Of when you lifted the burden of another by being a blessing or when someone else did that for you? Or of when you, like me, maybe missed an opportunity to do so? (Let me encourage us here… even if we miss an opportunity, I believe God teaches us through it and we’ll get another opportunity to use that lesson.)
I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for being here.
Much love to you today,