Monday, March 25, 2013

I'll Carry You ...

My sister and I had just finished taking pictures of all five of our kids. My three boys and her two girls. A Mother's day gift for our mom. We wanted the pictures to be out in nature ... our mom loves anything nature and loves our kids. Five grand kids plus nature equals perfect for our Mom. So we headed to a spot along the Mississinewa reservoir. The kids pulled off their shoes and socks ... I was snapping pictures of them being ... them ... They skipped rocks in the murky water and chased each other back and forth along the waters edge. The rocks were slippery and cool under their bare feet. As is the norm with our kids, the boys tormented the girls. After they were worn out, we had the kids pose for several pictures and then it was time to head home.

"NO! I'm not leaving this spot!" Nine year old Hope was profound with her words. She stood perched on a flat rock near the reservoir shore. Her bare feet barely fit the surface of the rock she had chosen to stand on. She stood, hands on her hips.

"Hope, come get your shoes and get in the car." My sister was encouraging. She and I were an easy twenty feet away, standing by the pile of shoes and socks the kids had tossed aside.

An hour earlier, bare feet in the cool sand, playing in the water. Skipping rocks. All that sounded fun. But, now ... now her feet hurt. Hope had found a larger rock, just big enough for her to stand on. It was flat, smooth and cool and felt good on her feet.

It was time to head home. But, the path between that flat rock and my car was filled with sharp, rough rocks. The other four kids were picking their way through the rocks ... for them, this was an adventure. For Hope, this was ... scary.

"NO! My feet hurt! Again, profound. Hope was not budging. My sister grabbed Hope's shoes and started toward her.

"No, Mom. It's ok, I'll carry her." We watched Alex as she scooped Hope up in her arms and slowly picked her way through the sharp rocks. She kept her eyes down, looking for safe places to put her own bare feet. The weight of her sister made it more difficult but ... she made it. I'm sure it hurt Alex' feet to carry not only herself but her sister across those rocks. But she did it, with no complaints. Once she reached a clear area, Alex sat Hope on the ground and helped her put on her shoes.

The seven of us trekked back to my car. The kids wrestled into their seats. Sweaty bodies. Wet clothes. The smell of the Mississinewa water mingled with the summer breeze coming through the open windows.

I drove away thinking ... It would have been easy to just grab Hope's shoes and take them to her. But, Alex carried her. In a sense, she carried her sister's burden.

As Christians we are called to bear one anothers burdens. It shouldn't matter how big or small those burdens are ... we should come along side and ... carry them. Carry them across until we both reach safe ground. The peaceful place where Jesus waits for us.

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