This is Charley, my wee pug cross dog. He’s a firecracker of a dog! Always into something and he’s a real joy. Today I was reminded of a story from when he was only a few months old. I had taken him and my old faithful Jenny to the park for a walk. It was a cold but bright day and I just loved watching Charley and Jenny running around. Their unbound energy was a tonic for me on a day when I’d been a bit tired. At one point I lost track of Charley who had run into the trees that line the particular area of the park we were in. I whistled and then heard the familiar sound of Charley’s little laws beating on the ground as he raced back.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, though, when I saw him emerge from the trees with a huge chunk of tree in his mouth. I kid you not, it must have weighed more than he does! And yet, there he was carrying it around with him. I stopped and marvelled at his ability to carry so much before calling him and Jenny over and leaving the park to go home.
There are people among us in our every day lives who carry so much too. There are people living with terrible illness, worries, debts, problems, losses, pain and more. For those of us looking on it often seems that they are carrying more than we could bear to ourselves. And sometimes it must feel that way for them too.
Right now, let’s call to mind and to our prayers those we know who carry so much.
Let’s stop and marvel at how they do it.
Let’s hold them in our prayers.
Let’s reach out to them because, as St Teresa of Avila said, ‘Christ has no body now but yours’ and mine.
Let’s be God’s love made present to them.
Now, lets’s be compassionate to ourselves and acknowledge that we, too, have our crosses to carry in life.
Let’s call the things that weigh us down to our minds now and hand those things over to God, however we understand God.
Let’s honour our efforts to carry what we carry, rather than get down on ourselves for not carrying them better. They say God loves a trier and we are trying. Ergo… God loves us.
Let’s make that our parting thought- we are loved by God; God who said ‘Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’.