"Two are better than one, for there is more return for their toil."
I usually think of these words in terms of working, of course. But recently, I've been struck by the way sharing a burden with another lightens one's load. I think of all the times I've tried to move a piece of furniture by myself. I've pushed at everything from end-tables and bookcases to pianos and even cars by myself. And I suppose you can guess which ones I'm able to move alone. Yes, only the smallest objects. I can move an end-table, but not a piano. I can move an empty bookcase, but not one filled to the brim with books.
And I can't budge a car an inch alone uphill. But I've managed to push one straight into the ditch when gravity and a little girl not steering very well and the power of an decline were helping me.
This is a very, very simple idea. Burdens are like these gigantic objects. We can't bear them alone. We weren't made to. When we try, they don't move. Or worse, they weigh us down, crumple us to our knees. My sister told me recently of hiking last summer with an over-heavy back-pack, getting knocked to her knees and being absolutely unable to get back up. She was completely, utterly stuck.
That's the power of burdens. Physical ones, mental, emotional and spiritual ones. We who are created in the Image of God are relational beings. This goes without saying, I suppose. Since God is Three-in-One, by His very nature He's already in relationship. So He made us that way. And He knows we need each other. He knows that we can't handle life alone.
Lately, there have been burdens overwhelming some beloveds in my life. And I'm hurting like I'm trying to move a piano on my own up the Matterhorn. Up Mt Everest. I've just taken them in, and am carrying a bulging pack full of them. And it's getting me nowhere.
It's in sharing those burdens that they're lighter. I was reminded of this in a concrete way yesterday. Someone came along and lifted the burden. Said, "here, let me have part of it. We'll do it together." And we'll carry the one who cannot walk to the only one who can actually take the burden away. The more there are to carry the hurting, the more the hurting's hurts are lifted. That's what I learned. I can't move a piano.
I guess what I'm saying is, if you're trying to carry your own burden, consider allowing someone to share it. If you're weighed down by another's burdens, even if you are constrained by someone's confidence, you can ask someone to pray without knowing. The Holy Spirit doesn't need the details. Another person who is really filled with Him doesn't need the details, he only needs the Holy Spirit and the burden will be shared. Two are better than one.