Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yes at both ends of the spectrum

Hi there friends.

I have lots of great photos to share with you of recent adventures as well as the surprising and hard-fought outcome of the mural I began in my last blog.

However, I am not in a place where I can get photos on my computer onto this internet. So, we will have to wait. Alas.

But in the meantime, there are lots of other things to think about.

For example, this, in Galatians 6:2.

"Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ."

This is one that has felt very natural to me over the years. Even if don't always succeed at it, at the very least it is natural to understand. Duh, it's right and good to help other folks out when they are hurting, lost, or have great need.

But then, 2 verses later we read

"But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load."

This stopped me in my tracks recently. Each one shall bear his own load. This is not a sentiment we hear very often. Or if we do, we hear it as the voice of selfishness – someone who doesn't want to help out another. But in this context it seems to be stating a fact. A spiritual fact or law. Upon considering it, it meant to me that there is a law that each one of us has work to do that no one else is able to do.

I have come to love parts in the bible where seemingly opposite ideas must exist side by side. "Bear one another's burdens…" "Each one shall bear his own load". Because they are so close to one another it's obvious that the author wants us to notice that these very different pieces of counsel are both necessary.

It's just like when in the gospels Jesus counsels us not to judge, but later says "When you judge, judge righteous judgment".

In each case, both sides express a true, virtuous, and accurate idea. Opposites!

I knew a very talented storyteller named Brother Blue. He had been to Harvard and Yale, but made his name as a storyteller and became known as "The Father of New England Storytelling". The first time I heard him tell a story he lit my heart on fire. I bring him up because, he would often expound on the process of telling a good story, and one if his favorite things to say was "The human mind can't do it!" And then he would describe how he recognized his absolute need of ideas and inspiration that came from beyond him.

This is relevant because the human mind balks at being instructed to bear one another's burdens, but that each one will carry his own load – all in one breath. It seems to me they are coupled together like that to make the human mind get out of the way, and instead recognize our need for inspiration and guidance that are beyond our own limitations.

Is right to bear another's burden? Yes! Is it true that each one will carry his own load? Yes!


  1. I like these contrasts!

    Hey, I knew Brother Blue...he was amazing!