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Baking cookies and bearing burdens . . . .

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Oh, the memories that the sweet smells of melting chunks of chocolate mixing into that luscious dough cooking in the oven bring back. They say that certain smells can take us back to a memory associated with them. I find that to be true of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven.

My Mom used baking chocolate chip cookies as an opportunity to gently remind us of who we were when we had fallen short of the moral code she was raising us with. She understood that creating something together would soften the blow of telling me that I made a mistake and how I was going to fix that mistake. Once she felt that I had been disrespectful to a boy who asked me to homecoming. That hadn’t been my intent, I just didn’t want to go with him. She was kind and caring as she told me that I needed to call him and apologize and oh by the way, I wouldn’t be going to homecoming with a boy, but I was welcome to go alone. I guess she was using the chocolate chip cookies to help me swallow that bitter pill. (Baking together is also how I learned about periods, sex and that chocolate really is the cure for everything)

Bear one another’s burdens.

My mother took her responsibility to raise us to know Jesus and follow His ways very seriously. Her method of gently reminding us when we got off course was bearing our burdens with us. She loved us enough to wanted to teach us to learn from our mistakes. She wasn’t self-righteous or better than us, she just offered to walk this walk together and come out better for it.

The people we choose to walk with, share with and burden-bear with is our community. They are the ones who know us best, love us best and hold us best.

We were meant to be in community. When God made Adam, he knew it wasn’t good for him to be alone, he needed a partner. (Genesis 2:18) Jesus wanted people to disciple beside Him and chose them as he began His ministry in Galilee. (Mark 1:14-20)

Our community can be family and friends both inside and outside of the church.

Bear one another’s burdens.

I read a story the other day about a woman who was attacked in her hotel room. The man punched her in the face, beat the daylights out of her and raped her. He left her in a cold stairway to die. It was a horrific ordeal. The doctors told her the fact that she had been left where it was so cold probably kept her brain from swelling worse and saved her life. She was left with dealing with the terror of seizures on a regular basis though.

A few weeks later she was working away from home again and wasn’t feeling well. The doctor asked her if she could be pregnant and she responded no, but then remembered the attack. They performed a pregnancy test that told her she was indeed pregnant with her attackers’ baby. Shocked, she called her husband to tell him she now knew why she was feeling so sick.

There was a slight pause and he said, “Sweetheart, this is a gift. We love babies. This is something wonderful from something terrible.”

Bear one another’s burdens.

This was his near immediate response. I want you to think about that. He didn’t show anger or hurt to her or the baby, just love. Simply, we will carry this burden together as a family.

Was the woman nervous? I would be. She has already been through so much physical and emotional anguish, and now she has to figure out how to deal with a residual of that attack. But not alone. Her husband owned what could have been a huge challenge with her. Instead they were both immediately protective of this sweet baby, this is where they found beauty in the ashes.

Bear one another’s burdens.

I am blessed with a wonderful family. When I am in a place of struggling, I know that my husband has my back. He will protect me, and carry me through the things I can’t get through on my own. My kids put up with my shenanigans but I know when the going gets tough they will be there to help me through.

I also have a strong community of girlfriends. My tribe of friends have seen me through my Mom’s death, a broken wrist, clinical depression and a host of other challenges. They have also celebrated with me as I conquered that depression, my grandbabies births, my first blog and so many other blessings in my life.

This is community. Picking each other up when it’s needed. Showing immediate love and compassion when facing the unthinkable. Gently pushing a loved one back on track when they lose their way. It’s what Jesus wants us to do.

Bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ.

Jesus did what we cannot do alone. His death frees us from an eternity separated from God. When we accept Him and His sacrifice, we are left with this amazing freedom to live like He did. We are all the burden-bearers of our community; lifting each other up, loving each other and just keeping it real.

Mom baking with Kirstin.

If you want to read the whole story about the woman who was attacked, here's the link;

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