Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Once one was awakened on a Tuesday morning to one’s son saying “Mom! You need to come! I think the mama cat had her kittens. I hear crying in the garage.”
Returning to the garage, he found a cold, crying kitten on the garage floor, appearing to be abandoned and alone. He carefully wrapped the tiny Yellow Guy in a Mama Cat scented towel, and brought him to be warmed while Mama Cat and the rest of the litter were located.
Because Life is Fragile, it must be handled with Care.
Yellow Guy was successfully and safely returned to the Mama Cat’s newly found den with his siblings, and all seemed hopeful.
The next morning, a Yellow Guy was found cold and abandoned at the back of the den, and all the kittens were scattered on the garage floor because Mama cat got hungry and walked in search of her own food dish while the babies were nursing.
Life is fragile.
While she tried, Mama Cat was young and needed some help. All the kittens were put in a warm cushy box, and Mama Cat and babies were crated for safety and warmth. Mama’s food, water, and litter were brought into the crate.
Everyone seemed safe, warm, healthier, and fed. Mama Cat purred loudly while she nursed, and she proudly showed off her babies to her human companions and helpers.
All was not as it seemed.
Life is so fragile, even handled with care.
When the babies were 48 hours old, Yellow Guy with curly ears had not survived. Twelve hours later, Yellow Guy with straight ears, the original Yellow Guy, had also not made it. They were too fragile. By a month after birth, three more had died, despite all feline and human efforts to keep all babies warm, fed, and safe.
Because Life is Fragile.
Conversations can be fragile. Our speech can edify. Our tongue can tear someone down, even without intending to be hurtful.
Relationships can be fragile.
Health can be fragile. A loved one can suddenly and without warning be in the fight for their life after one health incident or accidental injury. It doesn’t matter if one is 8 years old, 40 years old, or 75 years old.
When all around it seems that fragile life is happening to those one cares about, or even to acquaintances needing encouragement, how should one respond?
Bearing the burdens of others means taking the time to listen and hear the other, to respond with consideration, with care, with sensitivity, with edifying words, and in a manner that one would like to be treated oneself.
It sometimes means meeting physical needs or doing chores for another when one is able.
Stop the snarky, sarcastic name calling so prevalent in our culture. Respect the person-hood of those with whom you disagree. Stop making fun at the expense of others.
Respect the boundaries of others.
Be grateful for the efforts of others on your behalf.
The end results will be happier, healthier, less fragile, and stronger sets of relationships most of time.
Like with our kittens, even the best of intentions and work may not yield a desired result, but building each other up is worth the efforts.
Let’s not make life more fragile than it already is.