You should see my backyard.
It is covered with leaves of all shapes and sizes. Some are colorful. Others are dull and brown. The grass is littered with them. They’re everywhere.
But they are not mine.
You see, we don’t have any trees in our backyard. All the leaves scattered in our yard fell from our neighbors trees. While we did nothing to get this mess… it is ours to clean up.
Let me interject something here. Our neighbors are so wonderful that we’d rather be up to our chins in leaves to rake than live without them next to us. We are blessed by them. But regardless, the leaves are now ours to clean up.
I wonder if you can relate to this.
In life, do you sometimes find yourself with a messy person or a messy situation that is not necessarily yours to clean up? At times, has someone else’s issues spilled over into your world?
When it does happen, what do you do?
- Ignore, hoping it will go away?
- Tell them to figure it out themselves?
- Fume inside and take it out on your family or friends?
- Make hateful comments to others behind their backs?
Here is what God tells us to do.
“Help carry each other’s burdens. In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings.” Galatians 6:2
He is telling us to get messy.
Rather than get frustrated or angry… rather than feel inconvenienced or put-upon… rather than brush aside or judge… we should help them shoulder the burden.
Do you do that?
I’ll be honest, this is hard for me. I’m the type of gal who appreciates low-maintenance kind of people. That’s why I have cats, for Heavens sake. 🙂
Now I am not necessarily talking about my posse, because I’ll go into battle with them. But I’m more describing those who are in constant need… and whose light at the end of their tunnel is always a train.
The ones who require so much more than the average seasonal basket case. The person who never seems to figure it out and only feels better when her pity party is in full swing.
But that is not what God wants from me.
He wants me to love His messy children and show it by following Christ’s teaching to love my neighbor. You see, when life overwhelms them and the wind blows their messy-ness into my yard… God is asking me to help them rake up the fallen leaves of their lives.
And so I do it, because I’ve seen others faithfully carry my burdens.
Listen, we all need our leaves to be raked up from time to time. Sometimes when our burdens become too heavy and we can no longer handle the weight of it, we can’t help but spill into the lives of others.
Community is messy. YOU are messy. I am messy.
When those winds start to blow and leaves begin to scatter, be ready and willing to grab the rake and help your brother or sister.
Because even though the world tells us differently… we were not created to handle the clean-up on our own.