The three giant letters on the asphalt on the edge of the road read “LOC”. I asked myself whether or not I knew of anyone with those initials. I kicked it around for a few days, never able to figure out who the culprit might have been.
However, after a few days, a strange thing happened. It seemed for all the world as if the paint was fading. Sure enough, within about ten days, the letters had mysteriously all but disappeared. For this, at least, I was grateful.
And then, one day while out walking, I came across a sight that completely changed my perspective on the whole matter. Across the ditch and up the embankment from the faded remains of the letters, a brand new power pole had been installed adjacent to an old one.
Obviously, what I had interpreted as graffiti was the marking for the location for a new utility pole. What I had perceived as paint was a substance that was clearly designed to be biodegradable and therefore to fade away over time, which it has now done almost completely. Kudos to the local utility authority, who had clearly thought all of this through in advance.
And also for their ability to see that I could not see. The old power pole was clearly on its last leg. Not just faded, it was splintering and sagging. In fact, one could almost say that the vines growing around it were partly responsible for its ability to remain standing under the burden of the lines it had borne.
Now, however, a newer, much taller and much stronger pole has come along beside the older, shorter, and weaker pole and taken on this burden. As I stood there observing this scene, it was almost as if I could hear the old pole saying heaving a sigh of relief and muttering its appreciation over and over again.
As I have reflected on this, I have been reminded of how many times God has pretty much done the same for me - of how many times God has looked down and seen that my burdens were reaching the point where I could no longer bear up under them; of how many times He has marked me for assistance; and of how many times He has either come along beside me and relieved me of my burdensome load in life or else sent someone to do that in His name.
Of course, no sooner have I reflected on these things than I have also been reminded that these are the very ways God wants to use me in the lives of other people. More times than I can count, I have either driven or walked by that old pole and never once noticed either its condition or its burden.
I shudder to think how many times I have also walked by my fellow human beings and taken no more notice of them and/or their circumstance as well. My prayer is that, from this day forward, God will help me to be a bit more sensitive to the plight of the individuals whose paths I cross.
In his New Testament Letter to the Galatians (chapter 6, verse 22), the Apostle Paul states: “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” In light of this, I hope to become more sensitive to the burdens of others.
As I do, should I encounter someone who has been marked by God as being in need, I trust that I will be found faithful to come along beside them and help to ease their load in his name. And also that Jesus Christ will be pleased with my efforts.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/galatians/6-2.htm.