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Bearing One Another's Burdens

by Dr. Shane Arnold

Author and speaker Chip Dodd once told a moving story about his son’s high school baseball career.  He actually had two sons that played.  It was the younger one’s dream to play with his older brother.  So, he worked hard, and finally the day came.  He was overjoyed.


But the joy was short-lived.


During the second game of the season, the younger son injured his shoulder, a season-ending injury.  As you can imagine, he was crushed.


For the most part, he kept his disappointment to himself.  But one night the pain was too much.  He lost it and started yelling at everyone.  Nobody understood.  Why did God do this?  God is cruel.  If the devil did this, God lacks power. 


Dr. Dodd waited for his son to calm down and started to talk with him.  His son told him he did not mean a lot of that.  He just knew his dad could take it.


In response, this dad said something I believe was very wise.  Dr. Dodd said, “I don’t have the answers to these things that you are asking, and I don’t know why this happened.  I just know I’m staying.  I’m here.  I just know I’m going to walk through it with you. I’m not going anywhere.”


Such a response goes against our natural inclinations.  When we are in situations like this, we either try to match anger with anger, or we dump all of the advice we have.  We try to answer questions and solve the problem.


But sometimes hurting people just need to know you will be there.  Sometimes people need you to sit with them in silence.  Sometimes people just need you to weep with them as they weep.


Who needs you today?  Who needs you to be a faithful, steady presence?  Go and be that friend.  After all, you will be the one who needs one someday.

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