There’s a saying that God won’t give us more than we can carry. I’ve never really liked what that implies. Because what I read into it, was that I would be weak if I falter, if I fail, if I cannot carry what I’ve been given, because I’m supposed to. Because God wouldn’t give me more than what I would be capable of dealing with. So if I didn’t manage to take care of what I was given, then I was a failure.
Then I heard a wise woman share her understanding of this. My world shifted. Clicked into place. Merged.
This was never supposed to be on an individual level. God isn’t addressing an individual person. He’s addressing the community. A community is not given more than the community can carry. All of a sudden, I could relax. The fear of failing left, and I saw the wisdom of this.
A single mom with breast-cancer. Given only what she can carry? I think not. Given way to much. Way to much. More than anyone should be given. A life seemingly in free fall… and yet; the community around her can hold it all. Hold her, the family. Step up to the challenge, cook food, pick up at day-care, babysit during hospital appointments, help with laundry and home work. Be there when the pain is too overbearing, holding out an arm or two to an unsteady, scared and frail soul in need of support.
What would happen if we stopped the inner judge from passing judgment upon our frailty, our inability to cope, all by our very lonesome selves? Accept that we are meant to live our lives, together. To look out for one another – in good times and bad. The difficult circumstances offer an opportunity to help carry the burden, to be there for each other, to make sure that our community doesn’t falter, no matter what tragedy is unfolding.
A family loosing their home to a fire. Neighbors stepping in, donating clothes, offering a place to stay, raising funds for rebuilding the house.
An influx of refugees, freezing, hungry, tired, with no funds. People stepping in, donating clothes, handing out water, food, buying a ticket for the train, lending a phone to call loved ones in far off places, offering shelter.
You’ve seen it over and over again. So have I. People opening homes and hearts. Because we care. Belong together. Share common ground. We are all part of many communities. When in a position to help, help. When in a position to be helped, accept and welcome it. Know that those who give, do so freely. Know that helper and helpee change places, when circumstances shift.
Each and every one of us, a part of humankind.
As such, it is our privilege to be a kind human.