On Being a Christian

Are You Carrying a Heavy Burden?

sn-fall-orchard-roadMy sweet husband Andy has a quote as the signature of his email that states, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden” –Ian MacLaren (Pastor John Watson).

I have always loved this quote. But I loved it because it reminded me to be patient, kind and understanding; other people struggle with serious issues. Other people are hurting, and that is sad for them. I need to be kind to the stranger, even if she is rude to my kids at Trader Joe’s. I need to be patient with the old woman driving like a maniac in front of me. These people are probably carrying heavy burdens.

This week, it struck me that I am now the one carrying a heavy burden. I hear the quote differently now. It’s like a quiet request to please be patient with me. Please be gentle with me. Please try to understand. Please reach out in kindness.

It’s different when you are on the other side of the quote, the burden side. It sounds more like this:

“Be kind to me, for I am carrying a heavy burden.”

I have a story to tell. I might tell you in a book one day under a pen name, or I might write a screen play. I have to tell my story because God has called me to do it. But for now, I post this as a reminder that truly everyone is carrying a heavy burden, whether it is from today, last week, or years ago.

For those of you who also carry heavy burdens, let’s try our best to bring them to Jesus. He promises to carry them for us. But in order to let him carry it, we have to be willing to hand them over and let go of the intense desire to be in control.

This expanded quote by John Watson made me tear up today:

John Watson in 1903. Section titled “Courtesy”:

This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world, with strong temptations, with doubts and fears, with wounds of the past which have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched. It is a fact, however surprising. And when this occurs to us we are moved to deal kindly with him, to bid him be of good cheer, to let him understand that we are also fighting a battle; we are bound not to irritate him, nor press hardly upon him nor help his lower self.

He words it so well!

Wounds from the past that have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched.

Does this resonate with any of you?

If you are going through a hard time, I recommend finding a friend to talk to today. Don’t isolate yourself. Reach out.

It’s OK to be the weak one sometimes, the one with the burden.

One day your friend will need you to be there too.

And if you have a friend who is going through a hard time, ask them how they are doing. Take them to tea and listen, ask questions, give them a hug, say a prayer for them.

God’s gracious hand be over you and your house today.

I hear God telling me to act now, for time is short. To write.

“So you write it down. You write it down.”



And thank you God for the tears that can finally fall from my eyes. I held them in too long.

Chelsea Rotunno is the author of Goodnight to My Thoughts of You, a novel about life as a Christian teen searching for true love.


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