Bearing SubstitutionNew Every Morning | September 17, 2021
At the most basic level, “bearing substitution” can be as simple as talking about our troubles. But our culture of ruthless individuality works against even this shy beginning, encouraging us to be self-sufficient, tough it out, go it alone, suffer in silence. It can feel like a radical act to break from the perky party line and admit, even to family members or close friends, when we are unhappy, worried, distressed, or scared. Yet such honesty can truly lighten the burden of these difficult feelings by giving us company in them.
—Elizabeth Green, in Compassion: Thoughts on Cultivating a Good Heart, compiled and introduced by Amy Lyles Wilson (Fresh Air Books, 2008)
Who could you courageously turn to for compassionate support? Join the conversation.
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
—Galatians 6:2 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
With my eyes, I choose to see with compassion. With my hands, I choose to give and touch with compassion. With my feet, I choose to go where I can deliver compassion. With my heart, I choose to love with great compassion.
(Pause for a minute of silence and imagine how you can show compassion today.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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There are people in my life who come close to this description, but there is no one after God who really fills this role. It’s a blessing to have God ever present and all knowing.
Preparations for the railroad historical society meeting are progressing, mostly packed up, have one last model to finish.
Erich saw the dentist and a dermatologist yesterday. Very good news from both, Needed care is progressing or will soon be done. Thankfully the cost is manageable.
Hope to catch up again with the NEM family later this afternoon. The Friday morning breakfast get together is about to start. Stay safe.
No one. I would very much like to have someone like this and someone I could be this person for.
Prayers for Ally and David, for improved health and finances, prayers for Jill as she grapples with an issue she must bring to a collegue’s attention and addresses this thorny issue with hopes of avoiding escalating the matter to the admisitration, prayers for Lou, for safe travel and a relaxing and warm visit with friends, for Robert and Erich as they both deal with physical issues, for Marti and her staff. Thank you for your prayers and kind words and may God bless all who visit here.
I am beyond blessed to have a trusted few to whom I can and do turn. I can be transparent, honest, authentic – and I can count on exactly the same from them. Not sure why God has deemed this wretch to have this blessing.
I want to thank Robert and Julie, as well as the untold others who visit this space, for receiving my confession yesterday. Saying it hear and praying to God…my inability to see my colleague as a creation of God, loved by God. Let me tell you what happened this morning. Not sure why – but I parked in the main parking lot in the front of the building, instead of the much smaller one off to the side – nearer my room. As I went in – I needed to ask the secretary (who had been absent on Thursday when I first sought her out) a question which would aid me in handling my situation. As I was speaking with her – the assistant principal who oversees our program and who is the best administrator in the building overheard my question as she was passing through the other side of the office. The secretary answered my question – wasn’t the response I was looking for – and then the assistant principal asked me why I needed to know. One thing led to another and I reluctantly explained the situation. But – the point of the story is – God has this all perfectly timed out. I got to school earlier than usual, I parked where I rarely park and the assistant principal just happened to be passing through and caught the one sentence of our brief conversation. Not a coincidence. I feel like God perfectly planned all of that, enabling my stress level to be significantly reduced. The morning was so hectic that I didn’t even have time to reflect on it. But once school was over – I was numbed to awe by His working of it. And I believe, maybe in error, that it was because I was finally able to get to a point of surrender and confession last evening. My colleague passed by this morning and made a comment to me – and I had part of what would have been said in our “courageous conversation” – spoken. I don’t feel like anything is fixed…but what I was able to say I think let her know that I am trying to find an amicable solution.
I must say – I was exhausted when I left school. And I came home to a very sick cat. He always greets me at the back door, and before that popping up in my big kitchen window when I pull in the driveway. I found him lying in my bed upstairs with evidence of how ill he was throughout the day in various spots of my house. My friend has agreed to help me if I must take him to the vet tomorrow. I tried to get him to lick up some pumpkin puree, but he has no interest in anything. He finally came downstairs and is lying in the living room. He is acting like he did that morning about a month ago when I was very concerned.