Bearing the Burden
By Jill Carnuccio
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
I will be honest, there are areas of the world that have weighed on my heart...Haiti has never been among them. After all, I’m not God and I don’t think He asks us to individually carry the burden of the whole world. That is the beauty of His body - the Church. We each have our own shouldering, our own focus of calling and if we each are listening, the weight of the world no longer crushes the burdened or the burden bearers.
Our friend Suzanne is a burden bearer. Our new friend Rhodena is a burden bearer.
And they are working shoulder to shoulder with the Haitians to lift the otherwise crushing weight of natural disaster, corruption, abuse and poverty. As Phil and I sat in a room of beautiful young men and women, I couldn’t help but be amazed to think “If these two women weren’t listening and answering God’s ‘ask’ this room would be empty and perhaps these futures as well.”
The students sat all around me intelligent, inquisitive, engaged and passionate about not only their own futures but also the future of their country.
They dream of what their responsibility and the opportunity of an education will mean.
We respect their hope and vision in the face of such daily and oppressive obstacles.
The Bridge Scholarship is making a way to meet some of their basic needs and feed their minds and souls so that they do not become exhausted in the struggle.
There is a section of Leviticus in which God is prescribing the ways His people should love. Chapter 19 teaches ways that the “Haves” care for the “Have-nots”. In verse 9-10 they are commanded that those with a harvest should not strip their own fields bare but leave a crop for those without a harvest to come and gather for themselves. This pattern is a beautiful example of the balance between compassion and generosity on the one hand and hard work and personal responsibility on the other.
Later, in verse 15, God’s people are further commanded not to show partiality to the poor OR the powerful. We live in a culture and time when the pendulum is swinging away from showing partiality to the rich and powerful. This is a needed correction. But showing partiality and preference to ANYONE leaves someone to be treated unjustly. And we are as God’s people, to love mercy AND do justly. Partiality is not equal to justice, no matter to whom it falls.
What has inspired me most about the work of The Bridge Scholarship Program? Their goal.
Or in other words “... encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” (1Thess 5:14)
Those of us who have must share our harvest of resources: money, time, health, skills and knowledge.
But we must do so by:
Respecting personal dignity and assuming the God-given potential of those presently without a harvest.
“But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands...”
(1 Thess 4:11)
In this age of virtue signaling and overwhelming social consciousness, it is very difficult not to feel the pressure to act as if every need must be validated and answered by ourselves.
In the final words of Micah 6:8 we find perhaps the most important part of burden bearing: humility.
Walking humbly with your God!
Let’s not believe the lie that WE are the answer to all the problems of the world. Let’s walk with God in dependence ourselves and as we do, point those we are walking with to Him as well...the only true hope for the world.
If we believe in a God who redeems and restores, a God who made every man and woman in His image then our love and mercy must equip and empower.
This is what The Bridge Scholarship is all about.
And this is a time, a place and a “burden” we want to help bear.