Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Now, he noticed a young man carrying a heavy burden, climbing the slope before them. He increased his pace in hopes to join him, and even hoped to relieve some of the burden from the hiker. As he drew near, he realized that the burden was a crippled young boy who clung tightly to his carrier's neck. The young man struggled beneath the weight, shifting it from side to side as he maneuvered the rock-laden path.
His offer of help met with a smile, but was declined because the little guy clung tighter at the sight of the stranger.
"Isn't he heavy?" the sojourner asked the young man.
"Oh, no!" he exclaimed! "He's not HEAVY, he's my brother!"
I may not remember all the details of this short story, yet the response of the young man often comes to my mind in my present circumstances. I have the privilege of carrying my Dad added to my own personal journey I realize many times that the care of my elderly Dad is often viewed by others as a heavy burden, and I admit, there are many days when my steps stagger beneath the weight. I often find not only my legs tired, but my arms sore by the many lifting tasks, and my back a little bent under the weight I must shift from side to side. In quiet moments as I consider all that transpired in the previous hours, my heart still rejoices at the gift God has given to me.
The task of my Dad's care is a joy for I have learned much.
My Dad's faith in the unseen God remains strong, yet the darkness of the valley of death overwhelms even this strength in the hours of pain. His spirit fights back when his physical mind wanders in confused pain and weariness. Words of hope and blessing in the Savior's Presence place a weak smile on the wrinkled face and his eyes still sparkle with testimony of God's faithfulness. Without a doubt in these last days, my Dad knows and often quotes from the ancient Job, "I know my Redeemer lives and on that day, shall STAND..."
What a glorious hope our Savior gave those who believe in Him! No matter how dark the valley, how rugged the path, how heavy the burden, the vision of the SON walking with us brings back our joy!
So, as I walk along this path with a true soldier of the cross trusting me to carry him over the rough spots, softening the blows of pain in the darkest of hours, refreshing with Scripture his weary soul and encouraging another step from arthritic limbs, I must respond with a weary smile - and often through tears...
"He's not heavy! He's my Dad!"
Thank you for your prayers and notes of encouragement.