Share Their Burdens

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When we share the burdens of others, we are forever changed. Loving the oppressed helps us love Jesus.

Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. Galatians 6:2, MSG

Because of where I live, it is easy for me to avoid “the oppressed.” I know there are welfare families living within a ten-minute drive of my suburban neighborhood, but I usually drive past, not into, those apartment complexes. Usually. But not always.

Last winter, I got to know a welfare mom. Her husband had died of cancer when she was pregnant with her fifth child. Her story was sad, even horrific.

We ended up taking this mom’s one-and two-year-old sons into our home for a couple of weeks. Our quiet, steady home became chaotic, our world tilted, and we fell in love with those two little boys. The younger was happy-go-lucky, the older more temperamental. We were his fourth foster home in less than a year—a year in which his father had died. When frustrated, his limited verbal skills became even more limited, so he would simply scream. For five or ten minutes straight.

But in the mornings, when I’d be up writing, he’d climb out of the portable crib he slept in, and wander down the hall to my room, peeking in cautiously. I’d always greet him with a gentle “Good morning, buddy,” and he would scurry over and climb onto my lap, cuddling against my shoulder.

The boys are now back with their mother. But sharing their burdens for a while forever changed us. Loving them gave me a chance to love Jesus. When we stoop down to help the oppressed, we are the ones who are lifted. When we love the poor, we complete Christ’s love. This truth you learn only by doing. When you touch the oppressed, you touch Jesus. 

FAITH STEP: How can you help the oppressed? Perhaps the first step is to figure out ways in which you avoid those in need, and to begin to change that.

 

Written by Keri Wyatt Kent

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