It hurts to feel someone else’s pain. The reality is that people are going to feel the pain of this world whether we come alongside them or not. So I prefer to feel their pain with them rather than have them bear it alone. But I have a choice and they often don’t. Nevertheless, when I end a tiring day of ministry I sense that a loving Father watches me trudge into my house carrying the hurts of so many people. And I hear Him gently say, “Where are you putting that?”
This question is like the mild reminder a parent gives their child when they are putting something in the wrong place. In these instances, I am misplacing the burden of the brokenness of this world. It doesn’t belong on my shoulders. In my personal life I have learned to take my cares to the Lord. Now I am learning to sincerely trust Him with the cares of those I love.
At the end of the day the question remains: Is the One who is strong enough to bear my sin also able to bear the sins of the world (1 John 2:2)?
The answer to this question will determine how I share in people’s pain. I will either place it on my shoulders or in His pierced hands.