Last weekend I finally sorted through the last boxes of belongings from moving house and packed up eight plastic crates for the loft. Some were heavier than others but lifting them up the stairs and then up the ladder to the loft was a pretty tough job, and one I couldn’t have managed without some help from my housemate who helped from above in the loft. I did most of the lifting myself and was pleased with a good job done, although I noticed later that lifting the crates onto my shoulder to climb the ladder had left me with some pretty impressive and odd-shaped bruises.
While I had been chuffed at the woman power that had got the job done, it made me think of how some men in particular have much more developed shoulder muscles, which wouldn’t have bruised anything like as much as I did. Whether from manual work or time in the gym, this attractive feature I first noticed when ballroom dancing as a teenager would actually have had a much more practical application, had there been spare men around to help out. Sadly, as often seems to be the way, spare, helpful, well-built men were not in evidence.
The idea of building one’s muscles to get better at carrying things was one I mused on more the following day, wondering whether this also holds true in a metaphorical or spiritual sense. It seems likely that as we flex our spiritual muscles by developing our faith and trust in God, then we will be able to carry more, whatever that means. If we take small steps in building up the amount we try to carry, then we may find that we don’t strain or hurt ourselves in the way we otherwise would.
However, sometimes things are just too heavy, and we need to let someone else help, or shoulder the burden for us. Jesus said that we are to come to him when we are weary and burdened, and he will give us rest. He encourages us to take up his yoke instead, which is easy, and a light burden. In case I didn’t think of this, the bruises on my arm resemble something of a cross. While I’m not keen to get a tattoo, I do want to remember what Jesus carried for me. So I thought I’d blog about it.