Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:7
And because, sometimes, we carry too much.
A friend and the second-degree burns which cover twenty percent of her body fill my waking thoughts, as well as the four-month-old son who waits for his mama to come home. I ache for her, for them. We write notes and draw pictures, pray daily, visit often. Oh, Lord, heal her- comfort them! Show me what more I can do...
Sister graduates, and I'm not there. I held her when she was born, soothed her to sleep every night. How could I miss such a momentous occasion?
Husband's work load spills over into family life; the phone ringing and beeping incessantly, sometimes just as we've sat down to a meal, or a chapter, or a simple catching-up conversation. The early-to-rise, late-to-bed of his schedule is demanding, and the magnitude of directing camps and pulling together a mission trip to Uganda overshadows the busy work of preparing sermons and class schedules, performing weddings and attending graduations, and in the meantime, garden lies fallow and grass grows high, dandelions reduced to puffy white, drifting away on the wind. There must be more I can do to ease his workload! Make phone calls? Work on posters for the upcoming event? I should mow at least the front lawn tomorrow...
A new niece has arrived, and I missed the miraculous coming. How is baby sleeping? How are big brothers handling the change? How is Mama coping, recovering from caesarean? I wish I could be there...
And the weight of it all pins to me to the sheets every morning. Nevermind the daily tasks that demand my full attention, the little ones who need the best I can offer, the school lessons that require me to drop everything else just to focus on teaching...
...what I have left after carrying the load for others is simply not enough.
The sun glares through the window, making me want to slam my eyes shut against it, but I muster courage, shaking cobwebs of sleep from my head, and push the covers back. From deep inside, I hear a whisper, but it is pushed aside with the covers and I forget...
So when it's past ten and school hasn't started yet, because we've moved books and pencils and maps upstairs to catch all the light we can since a late-May snowfall has darkened the basement schoolroom, and when I've tried to capture the jollity of the occasion by suggesting hot chocolate and marshmallows to accompany Bible and copywork, and through it all I keep hearing whispers calling me back to what I know is true but I haven't a moment to stop and listen, that is when it all begins to become simply too much.
Worries and disquiet whirl inside me, the faces of loved ones making me ache, the faces of hurting ones bringing despair. A mental list including everything from baking cookies and switching laundry to tackling the giant rototiller and making phone calls grows longer, and heart pounds faster by the minute.
Little Man climbs Mt. Dining Room Table. And in the midst of school books and dirty cereal bowls plopped in bubbly sink and steaming teapot and crumby counter tops and pencil sharpener whirring and sticky hot chocolate puddles where Daughter sits, I remove him no less than seven times, repeatedly in my distraction neglecting to come down to his level and make eye contact and address the gravity of the situation.
And when finally I snap, when I yank from the tabletop and carry him to the living room and set him down by the boxes and baskets full of balls and wooden blocks and books (Really? The dining room table is more exciting than this, son?), I kneel and look long into blue eyes and say firmly,
And he solemnly assures Da-da! (which means yes) and sits to build and read and play. And I stay, too, on my knees.
This is your place. Right here. That is not your place, Gideon! (pointing to table) This is. (patting the floor) Stay in your place!
For the Voice which has followed all morning has spoken through my own lips, and the words echo in the now-stillness of the room.
To minister to Husband, ease his load, I must carry my own. What a relief it would be for him to arrive home, weary, yet gazing upon smiling faces and a mama at peace and grateful to see him just to see him, not for what he can ease for me. He carries his load, for it is too heavy for me. This is my place.
This is your place, Beloved. I will pull with you, but you must cast before you can be yoked!
Yet are we not commanded to carry each other's burdens?
But when I go beyond lifting others in prayer, and neglect to simply remember them to Him who carries all, (and so much better than me, I must say) I simply carry the burden. Nowhere. I have not carried it to Him. When I do finally hand it over, He gives quiet inspiration, a gentle nudge towards ministering to the hurting. A card with a prayer whispered over and a kiss pressed into the envelope. Sending the gift of peaceful music to administer peace and calm in these new baby days. Then let it go. Let Him carry.
This is my place. Reading the book of John with my boys, piling marshmallows high in my favorite mug, exclaiming over the red block Little Man thrusts into my face. My neck placed in the yoke, right next to Him. I cast so I can pull my weight, and pull it well.
Because He is pulling, too.
And I can't wait to see all that we can do- together!
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30
photos: life cast about at My Place this week...