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.)
The Upper Room’s RESILIENCE: Healing Practices for Mind, Body, and Spirit is just around the corner, September 30-October 2, 2021. This online event will be a time of reflection and interaction, and an introduction to spiritual tools that you can use in your own healing journey or the healing journey through which you lead others. Register today.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.