Paul writes, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2, NIV).
That law, of course, is to love God and one another. These are needed words in a world divided like the one we seem to be living through. How we do it, this love thing, is to first be sympathetic to those around us. Get to know their story and sit in silent contemplation in their life.
Another way is to console them instead of fight them. They, like you and me, feel pain too. We all have our good and bad days, stresses and worries that we don't share. Share them. Name them. Get those concerns off your heart so you can have room to embrace the wounded and stressed out.
"Consolation is a beautiful word," writes Henri Nouwen. It's a word that literally means "to be" (con-) "with the lonely one" (solus). Nouwen reminds us to offer consolation is "one of the most important ways to care life is full of pain, sadness, and loneliness that we often wonder what we can do to alleviate the immense suffering we see."
"We can and must offer consolation. We can and must console the mother who lost her child, the young person with aids, The family whose house burned down, the soldier who was wounded, the teenager contemplate suicide the old man who wonders why he should stay alive."
This does not mean that we have to take away their pain, but instead we just need 'to be' there and allow our presence to say, "you are not alone."
Together we carry one another's burdens we cannot be afraid of doing this. God says do not be afraid, I am with you. That is the consolation we all need to receive and to give when we enter one another's lives, stories, pain, space, and breath.
This is how the law is fulfilled. And peace prevails.
From Henri Nouwen's " Bread for the Journey."
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”