Bit funny, I’ve been involved in this delightful Bible study with some wonderful people and all is going well until we get to, “bear one another’s burdens,” from the Bible, and another concept, “be the first to apologize.”
I say a “bit funny,” because I was not the only person triggered, not the only one to go, “now hold up.” The truth of the matter is that there are some of us who God has spoken to quite clearly and pointed out, we need to stop apologizing for everything including existing, breathing, and having faith, and we need to stop bearing burdens that are not ours to bear.
I’m doing much better in those areas than I have in the past, but we had to make a list of burdens we bear for others and my list is probably 6500 words and not a single burden is related to me. Also, when it comes to apologizing, there are a few dozen people on that list that actually need to repent and apologize to me. Not that they ever will, I’m just saying, I don’t think apologizing for being forced to clean up someone else’s mess is appropriate here.
I’m a bit fiesty about this matter. I’ve spent much of my life chasing after that always elusive “people favor.” I’ve hit the jackpot of all one sided relationships a few times over and been laid out flat, left for dead. What happens when you’re down for the count? Usually someone just walks by and steals your boots.
Love is well, a many splendored thing. It is so not for the faint of heart! I was really blessed by this tsunami of horrors that hit me about 7 years ago. My entire inner circle collapsed and every deception I ever had was just stripped away in an instant. When God is all you have, you do learn that God is all you need.
I kid you not, I got into a tug of war with the Lord Himself over other people’s burdens. I was like, “listen I’ll just apologize and protect this relationship” and the Lord was like, No you won’t! Needless to say, I didn’t win that argument, but we sure repeated it over and over again, one person at a time, until there was no one left in my life at all.
It occurs to me that there are often two kinds of people in the world, in church, in Bible studies. I used to really enjoy this one pastor’s sermons, he was delightful, but in the back of my mind I’d often be thinking, I know exactly who needs to hear your words, and exactly who needs to just spit those bones out.
Guess who always took his words to heart? Those who his words were not meant for. Guess who completely ignored him? Those who really needed to hear his message.
I’m kind of angry today, kind of hurt, kind of triggered by this corona virus thing. For the last decade I’ve been watching the meth and opioid epidemic just destroy my community, my family, my friends. I’ve grieved so, so many deaths., buried so many people. Suicides, over doses, car wrecks. I’ve endured theft, vandalism, abuse, including the theft of people I loved dearly. Addiction comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. Relationships have been destroyed, families have been devastated, and the impact on children has been absolutely heartbreaking. So, so much sorrow.
Until fairly recently, nobody really cared. Not one bit. I actually met with our police chief, our sheriff, our court system, our churches, mental health, drug court, counselors. The police chief was the most helpful of all, he said, it won’t change until people care. Basically, we can’t do anything until there is some leadership, the political will to make changes.
Along comes corona virus and suddenly everyone is running around like a chicken with their head cut off. Suddenly people care! Suddenly we have mobilized, organized, and everyone has the political will to tackle this alleged “epidemic.”
More people died in just one year from the drug epidemic than in the entirety of the Vietnam war. Some of us have experienced the reality of those casualties without the benefit of anesthesia. You think addiction is painful, try going through it sober, without the drugs.
Not all lives are equal. That’s a nasty little truth to swallow, but truth it is. I’m not going to apologize for it, not going to smooth it over, not going to put an optimistic spin on it. I’ve spent a life time caring and trying to get others to care, too.
It’s not my burden to bear.