Elizabeth Rooney

 Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.~Galatians 6:2.

We are one another’s burdens, and when we relate to someone, we bear them, not just their burdens. This concept gives significance to the most casual contact, between the customer in front of the counter and the clerk behind it, the driver waiting for a traffic light and the man in the car behind him. We have a responsibility toward all who touch our lives, even casually.

I am beginning to learn more about the Cross. I always thought that to walk the way of the Cross meant to seek suffering, and this seemed perverse. I am beginning to realize that it means to learn to love and the more people I love and the more intensely and tenderly I love them, the more opportunities for suffering are presented, as life happens to them and as I learn to share their burdens and care about their cares.  Intercession goes well with this because praying for people does make you love them more and more.

These days, it’s as if everyone I meet has the potential for becoming a close and dear friend.  Is it perhaps by this magic that Christians come truly to love their enemies, so instead of your enemies being people whom you hate, they are reduced to being only people who hate you-far less lethal to the soul, regardless of the effect on the body. I have also discovered that he doesn’t love me because of me-my great lovableness; he loves me because of him-his great capacity for love.

So, if God can cure someone’s cancer, why doesn’t he just do it? Why include some human intercessor? I think because the cure, if cure comes, is more beautiful and intricate this way. He prefers to work through us not by force but by asking and waiting and inspiring and hoping.

Excerpted from “Elizabeth Rooney”  by Luci Shaw in Bright Legacy.  Servant Books, 1983