Ever feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world?
There is so much need, and there’s only one you. From global catastrophes to the single mom at the end of the block, you want to help and give and love and serve but–again–there’s only one you.
Two hands. Two feet. One heart.
And often, all five of those parts of you are pretty darned exhausted.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t offer help because I’m afraid of a person’s need. What if they need more than I can give? What if I can’t solve all their problems? What if my help is just a drop in their empty bucket, a bucket that needs to be filled all the way up?
That’s why I love the story of Jesus in Mark 2. Four men find out that Jesus is teaching in a nearby home. They’ve heard the rumors: he can heal. He teaches with authority. He means business.
These four friends know a paralyzed man. A man in need of help. A man who can’t get to Jesus on his own.
So they pick him up. They carry him there.
But here’s the thing: they don’t carry him forever. They carry him for a little while. And they leave him with Jesus.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
I’m learning that when I come across someone in need–whether it’s a friend with a new baby, the homeless man outside our Chipotle, or the next global catastrophe–God doesn’t ask me to do everything for them. (Phew!)
Instead, what he often asks me to do is to carry that person a little closer to him.
This may mean making and bringing over a meal to the friend with a newborn. I can’t do everything for her–rock her baby to sleep six times a night or do all her laundry or even bring her dinner every day. But this one meal can help.
It may mean offering the man outside the Chipotle lunch, or a conversation, or an invitation to join us at church for our free Sunday night dinner. I can’t singlehandedly solve the problem that’s landed him on the street in the first place. But seeing him, hearing him, valuing him, this can help.
In the next global catastrophe it may mean donating to the Red Cross or planning a mission trip or praying fervently or raising awareness or all of the above or something different entirely.
We don’t have to save the world. (Can I get an amen?)
But we can carry each other just a little farther toward the one who can save us all.