I have been stuck on a portion of scripture over the past week or so. When I was at the jail a couple of weeks ago Galatians 6 was quoted as we spoke of helping one another in life. Bearing one another’s burdens. I have heard it before, but something stirred in my heart.
I met a man a few months ago who, by most accounts, seemed relatively unremarkable. He lives in rural Ontario in and simple older white sided farm house with slightly crooked floors from the years of heaving frost. This simple man, Jack, is quite tall and as thin as a rail. But he is a hard worker, daily bent with physical labour in the outdoor extremes.
Some years back, he met a woman who had two children of her own from a past relationship that had ended. Her two children, at the time, were just early in their school years, maybe 5 and 7 years old. These two girls were best friends as siblings and faced the ups and downs of their parent’s relationship and eventual demise. As the years passed, Jack and Sylvia had a daughter together, but ended their relationship after Sylvia met man over the internet.
The girls, then in their early teens, briefly moved with their mother as she began yet another relationship with her new boyfriend. This, however, was short lived and both girls, Karly and Kate, moved back with Jack, who opened his home up to them, as he had many years before.
Today, Karly and Kate continue to live with Jack and his own daughter, Kristyn. Jack knows his role; he isn’t their father, but he is their main support – emotionally and financially. He voices his opinion, but knows his boundaries. He does this while raising his own daughter part time and working full time. This is a man who is bearing another’s burdens. You wouldn’t know it though. He doesn’t talk much about it. This is his family.
I have other thoughts on this particular portion of scripture that I will be sure to write about another time.
Everyone has a story. What’s yours? Tell me about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.