Volunteers from a local church spent a frigid evening distributing food to people in a low-income apartment complex. One woman who received the food was overjoyed. She showed them her bare cupboard and told them they were an answer to her prayers.
As the volunteers returned to the church, one woman began to cry. “When I was a little girl,” she said, “that lady was my Sunday school teacher. She’s in church every Sunday. We had no idea she was almost starving!”
Clearly, these were caring people who were seeking ways to carry the burdens of others, as Paul suggests in Galatians 6:2. Yet somehow they hadn’t noticed the needs of this woman—someone they saw every Sunday—and she hadn’t shared her needs. This can be a gentle reminder for all of us to be more aware of those around us and, as Paul said, to “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (6:10).
People who worship together have the privilege of assisting one another so no one in the body of Christ goes without help. As we get to know each other and care for each other, perhaps we won’t ever have to say, “We had no idea.”
Dear Lord, help me to notice the needs of those around me and to do what I can to meet those needs in Your name.
Nothing costs as much as caring—except not caring.
Paul told the church of Galatia that when they carried each other’s burdens they reflected and fulfilled the work of Christ. The Greek word translated “carry” in Galatians 6:2 appears thirteen times in the New Testament and means “to bear a heavy or burdensome object.” It is the same word used by the gospel writers in Matthew 8:17, Luke 14:27, and John 19:17. Matthew proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah who “bore our diseases.” Luke recounted Jesus telling His disciples that anyone who would not carry His cross could not be His disciple. And John described our Lord’s struggle as He carried His own cross to Calvary. Carrying one another’s burdens isn’t a kind gesture; it’s a mark of Christlikeness.