October 1-7, World Mental Illness Awareness Week
October 10, World Mental Health Day
Around the world and in our own families, women and young adults can find themselves in the depths of despair with no one to share their burdens:
- The hopelessness that leads to the growing epidemic of suicide amongst our young people;
- The rawness and pain of broken relationships;
- The reduction of our interactions to small screens of anonymity that also reduce our manners and empathy;
- The grief of those who have lost children to the ravages of addictions, illness, war or famine;
- The torment of refugee women fleeing bullets and bombings with babies and children tied onto their backs;
- The suffering of immigrant women separated from their children at the US border after risking all to give hope and dreams to their loved ones.
Jesus says, come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30, NRSV)
Christ sees the depth of our pain, shoulders our burdens and offers us grace. A yoke is designed to share the load between two beasts of burden. Jesus shoulders more than his share as he walks beside us carrying our load.
Loving God, equip us to offer kind words that cheer. Teach us to be gentle and humble in heart, with others and ourselves. Amen.
Rev. Steph McClellan, Lewisporte, NL.