Several years ago I had a friend that was experiencing a devastating tragedy. One night I couldn’t sleep. I was worried about my friend and the weight of her burden. Was she able to sleep? Did she feel alone? How could she possibly endure such a trial? I found myself on my knees praying. I asked if her pain could be eased if only for a while. I said I was willing to share her burden so it could be lighter. A heavy, oppressive feeling overwhelmed me. The weight was crushing, almost unbearable. After about an hour, the pain lifted. I wondered if my friend’s burden was eased just a little during that hour?
I love that Christ wept when He heard that Lazarus died. He had power to raise Lazarus from the dead, so why did He weep? I like to think He wept because He felt the sorrow of Martha and Mary. Their problem, their pain became His burden. Bearing one another’s burdens is a casserole and babysitting and lawn mowing and donating funds, but it is so much more. When we truly mourn with someone, we go from saying, “That’s sad,” to “I’m sad.”
In the Fall I had a surgery that knocked me for a loop. I had some set backs and complications that involved a lot of pain, no sleep, and little healing. Sometimes the pain seemed unbearable; I literally didn’t know how I could make it through another day. I received phone calls and visits from countless family members and friends. They brought meals and gifts, but more importantly, they listened to me, they mourned with me, and they cried with me. My burden, my pain became theirs and I was lifted.
Recently a friend and I talked and she shared a heavy burden with me. She apologized saying she didn’t want to weigh me down. I remembered a time several years ago when I had unapologetically unloaded on her. She had been through a similar trial and because she had been where I was and because she loved me, she could give me words that provided new perspective and charted a course of action that changed my life.
The Savior, through the power of His atonement, has the ultimate power to lift burdens. As a people that have covenanted to take upon us His name and try to be like Him, we should mourn with, cry with, and feel the pain and despair of our brothers and sisters, and no one should ever have to apologize.