Along the highway…

…carry each other’s burdens…

We live in a big world… So many news organizations, media threads… Inundated with an excess of information can leave us feeling overwhelmed… wondering, what can I do?

Recent news of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has left me feeling similarly helpless… And yet, I’m reminded of things that I can do despite being so far removed from the situation…

As we traveled in 2016, we were often left feeling a bit overwhelmed… We’d arrive in the country, ready to help out, only to find the need was far greater than what we could ever do in a single month. During times like these, I was grateful to be working alongside locals who served in the community year round. They lived, breathed, and sweated alongside the lay person, so they knew intimately the true needs of the people…

Coming home to the USA, I had similar feelings… A year abroad meant a year of missed information, missed events in the lives of my loved ones, my community, my country… And yet, I longed to make a difference…

After touching down in Chicago and a few days with friends, a teammate and I embarked on a road trip cross-country that I’ve often reflected on…

We stayed with friends along the way, entering into their world for a brief moment. But out on the highway, the rubber truly hit the road…

While driving through Missouri, we came upon a roll-over wreck. Steam rising from the crumpled hood indicated it happened only moments before. Wanting to help, we pulled over, ran across the street and asked those already on the scene what we could do…

The truck was on its side, a tree lying on the shattered windshield, the driver pinned in… He was unconscious, blood running down his skull… I thought he was dead… I felt completely helpless… We all stood around assessing the situation… But what could we do?

At that moment, it dawned on me one thing I could do… I could pray.

Further on in our journey, we came across some drifters at a highway rest stop. Seeing them there, cardboard sign in hand, again I wasn’t sure what to do… So, I went about my business, stretching my legs, visiting the restroom…

As I walked back to the car, I saw my friend chatting with them… Apparently they were recently unemployed and had lost their housing… the current future looked bleak… Moved to compassion, my friend offered them our meager snacks to tide them over. Then, he prayed with them… Though in the moment we hadn’t changed their circumstances, their demeanor was changed, more hopeful… The burden had been lifted as they knew someone actually cared

One of the greatest joys and game changers I’ve found is the simple act of entering in Entering into someone’s situation, whether it be joy, pain, or bewilderment… So often I feel helpless at knowing how to help someone, especially a stranger and especially not knowing their full story…

And yet, simply opening up a conversation with them so that they might be heard and then offering what I can, albeit spare change, the offer of a ride somewhere, or simply the act of prayer, can be transformational in that moment, for them and for me… Suddenly, the skies aren’t so dark, the duffel not so heavy, the way not so grim…

Is this not what we are called to do? Who we are called to be? So, where and how can I stop along the highway to help my neighbor?

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”*

*Galatians 6:2

pc: Sarah Coffey, South Africa

2 thoughts on “Along the highway…

  1. Wow Sarah. What a great reminder! I honestly had forgotten about that moment. Great words. I especially like the last words. “It is not what we are called to do. It is who we are called to be” Keep on being you, it is making a difference.

    P.S. Your photos are always so great!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s