When I was first a Christian, forty years ago, there was much talk of ‘burdens’. “God has given me a burden to do so and so.” “God has burdened my soul in such and such a way.”

It took me many years to see what an apt description that term can be.

I think it captures very well the circumstance where something previously abstract suddenly, or gradually, becomes distressingly real to you.

‘Abortion’ is no longer just a term. You can now hear babies screaming as their lives are painfully taken from them. ‘Sex trafficking’ becomes little girls with stolen pasts and futures who have little meaningful legal protection. ‘Adoption’ becomes heartbroken little ones with no support or hope.

These situations become living realities. And they are not passing disturbances in everyday life, but are recurring and gripping.

I think that is what a burden is. And I think it is often God’s call into action in a certain sphere of life. The only way to alleviate the pain of what you are understanding, ‘seeing’, is to go into action to try to remedy the situation.

In the meantime, the rest of the human race, even the Christian community, seems to be going on blissfully oblivious to this condition that is consuming your soul.

A burden is God-imposed, it is lonely, and it is painful. Sometimes to the point of crying out to the Lord for relief through death as various prophets did, who were so ‘burdened’ for their rebellious people.

Many sincere Christians will carry them at certain times of life.

And usually they are based on an increased apprehension of evil, of ‘fallenness’.

I marvel that God, who knows every detail of existence intimately, can let life , with its everyday wickedness, go on.

The merest glimpse of what he sees day in and day out quickly becomes almost unbearably wearisome to us.

So we call on him to become the burden-bearer of our burdens.

He does. And history goes on.

At least for now.

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