Yesterday Billy sent a letter out to some of the staff and members of our church to ask for prayer over our adoption. After life group this morning a dear lady embraced me tightly and all she said was, "let me take some of that off you" while she proceeded to shed tears on my behalf. That response allowed me to cry unapologetically and release all the feelings of isolation that the enemy had so cleverly planted in my heart. I didn't know that this woman's response is what I needed. All my friends have been encouraging, full of wisdom in their thoughts regarding our adoption and constantly reminding me that they are praying. Many times I have walked away encouraged and blessed. But I confess, I have often walked away thinking, "that's so easy for them to say" or "they really have no idea how hard this is". This is a pride issue the enemy presented to my heart (without saying ,"hey, be prideful")....to make me feel like I'm the only one who knows the depth of this struggle...which, of course, is a lie.
But there is another issue...a cultural issue. We live in a culture/generation that is uncomfortable with being silent, with saying less. In a "its my right to have free-speech" culture and in a constant-entertainment generation our focus is seldom "less of me, more of other people". We love things and self-felt words more than we love authentic, uncomfortable, undistracted, still, deep connection with the hearts of others. I'm talking to myself here too.
As I drove away from the church I was thinking of how much I appreciated (and needed) this woman's response. I also realized that I felt lighter. I think she really did bare up my burdens and lift them off me. The Lord reminded me of the Scripture "mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice" and it came to mind that the purpose of mourning or rejoicing with someone over a matter is because it is a way the body of Christ can protect the mourner's/rejoicer's heart from taking on such prideful thoughts that lead to isolation. The enemy's greatest tool is pride and isolation. The Father's tools are the Spirit and his hands and feet - the Body!
When you see someone hurting, I encourage you to simply embrace them...take on the heaviness they bare. Receive it as your own with a hug and tears. In this way you will be Jesus. You will be creating a barrier of protection around the hurting person's heart that says, "I get this. I'm taking it on with you. You are not alone. It brings me to tears too." Or if someone is rejoicing, celebrate with them. Let them know their victory is as important as any other. Embrace that person and laugh as one in awe of the goodness of God. Make it personal. Take it upon yourself.
Tears have become my prayer language. I'm so grateful the Spirit responded back to me with tears through this woman so that I know He sees my burden as his own. So that I know I'm not alone. What a comfort. And better, if the Spirit carries my burdens He is certainly going to render them powerless for good!