March 3, 2020

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I Will Carry it With You

The way Scott responded brought me to tears and challenged me. “Oh, that’s no problem. I don’t care if I get it. I will carry it with you. You just lead the way.”  

On our way out of town a couple of years ago, we stopped in to see Jonathan‘s friend Scott, at his custom apparel business. I felt like I knew Scott from all that Jonathan had shared about him but this was my first time actually meeting him. As I shook his hand, I told Scott that I had Shingles but not to worry because it was not contagious. 

“Oh, that’s no problem. I don’t care if I get it. I will carry it with you. You just lead the way.”  

Scott’s comment impacted me in a powerful way. First of all, he wasn’t afraid of getting Shingles and going through suffering. Scott was more focused on encouraging me. He wanted to carry the sickness with me and be there for me. 

 

How to carry it 

Scott’s response to me challenged me to really think about how I respond to other’s pain. How do I interact with other people when they are physically or even emotionally sick? 

Am I willing to carry other people’s burdens? In what ways can I encourage other people by not being afraid of their pain?  Instead, like my husband’s friend Scott, how can I simply offer to somehow share in the process of carrying their pain. 

It’s been a couple of years since that conversation with Scott but it has stuck with me. After recently recovering from my third round of Shingles, that conversation came to mind again. How do I help carry other’s pain? Here are some ideas that came to mind after this recent round of sickness.

1. Text or Call

When someone is sick or hurting, I encourage you to check in more than just once. Pick up the phone and call or text. A simple message asking how they are feeling or how things are going is a highlight and a blessing. I couldn’t always respond to messages, but it was amazing to receive so many. It meant a lot to know people cared. 

2. Pray for the person

Never underestimate the power of prayer in carrying someone’s burden. It is a huge blessing. If you are with the person, pray over them for whatever they are facing. And keep praying for them. As I read the comments on Facebook, I was often brought to tears by the love and support I felt from people praying for me. 

3. Take a meal 

A third way to carry someone’s burden is to take them a meal. It sounds so simple but it really means a lot. The meal can be a home-cooked meal or take out of their choice. Do what works in your season of life. Several friends offered and brought meals while I was sick. One friend delivered pizza and breadsticks to our house. It was a huge blessing to know I didn’t have to cook. It freed me up to focus on resting and healing.

 

4. Give a gift 

Another way to show you care is by giving a gift to the person who is hurting. If you’re local to the person who is hurting, drop by their house for a brief visit and give them a small gift like their favorite candy bar or flowers to cheer them up. 

Two of my friends brought me a beautiful coffee mug and encouraging sign when I was recently sick with Influenza A and the Shingles. It meant so much to me. Another friend brought some flowers and lunch when I was towards the end of my sickness. 

 

There are countless other ways to carry other’s burdens. Hopefully, this post helps you see ways you can help carry the burden of someone who is hurting. What are other ways you can carry the burden of others? Please share in the comments below. Thank you!

 

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