During my two weeks at the beautiful Camp Christian in Ohio, a high school student leader said a phrase in her speech to the whole camp that really stuck with me. She mentioned the importance of reaching out to others when we are in need. She pleaded with her peers to “share your burdens” instead of letting them overtake you. I really love this phrase. As someone who has trouble with admitting that I need help and sometimes keeps emotions bottled up for fear of showing weakness, I am challenged by this charge to share my burden. I would often rather not trouble someone else with my problems.
An experience occurred this summer which has opened my mind further. During an exercise in my peace workshop that simulated what it might be like to experience coming out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, a camper shared her deeply personal story about how her family reacted when she came out to them. She described how it felt to be treated differently after introducing her “true self” to her family and the everyday burden of discrimination that she experiences. After our session, I thanked her for sharing and reflected in the moment. I realized that it takes an incredible amount of courage to share your burden, and shows a lot of strength. I feel that it is an honor to carry someone else’s burden and to be given the opportunity to try and help in any way we can.
When I was growing up, it was always Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, ABBA, or U2 playing in the car with my mom. This is the music that comforts me and always brings up good memories. I was listening to my 90’s rock playlist while getting ready for my peace workshop last week and “One” came up. I was struck by the lyrics and felt really inspired.
But we’re not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other
We aren’t the same. This is apparent when we look at the diversity in the world. We don’t have the same experiences. But, if we let them, our differences can bring us together instead of tearing us apart. We get to carry each
other. It’s a privilege, an honor, and a trust that we have to earn. It’s not something that should be taken lightly. This is yet another way we can strive to live as Christ did, who took on so many of our burdens.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
Can You hear us coming Lord
Can You hear us call
Feel us knocking
We’re knocking at Your door
Share your burdens. Be open to those burdens
that others share with you. Maybe someday, as one, we can overcome any possible burdens that exist in this world.