Saturday, April 17, 2010


Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed. Isaiah 1:17

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

My favorite grocery store in the area has a unique and most efficient system for helping customers get their purchases from the checkout line to their cars. Someone bags the groceries, slips the bags into coded plastic tubs, and plops the tubs on a conveyor belt that travels outdoors to a wide portico. Shoppers receive a placard that matches the code on each of their grocery tubs. They drive their vehicles right up to the sheltered conveyor belt and hand over their identifying placards to polite employees who load all of the purchases into the trunk. Voila!

The trade-off for having this marvelous service is that the store’s management does not allow grocery shopping carts to be taken outside of the building. (This certainly solves one of the challenges raised in my “Walmart” post from earlier this week.) The only downside to this policy is that, if a shopper has a medium-sized order of groceries that she would just as soon schlep to the car herself, she has to be able to carry them in her hands.

Now, any intelligent and unassuming person would simply say, “Yes. Please send my purchases out on the conveyor belt,” when asked by the pleasant checkout clerk. But being a dim and prideful person, I have a ridiculous tendency to say, “No. That’s okay. I’ll carry them myself.” I inevitably regret the decision as soon as I remember how heavy a gallon of milk actually is, especially when its matched with a five pound bag of potatoes, a three pound bag of apples, and a couple of bottles of Gatorade.

It’s so silly, this inclination I have toward total self-sufficiency. I HATE asking for help with anything, whether it be something small like carrying groceries, or something big like making decisions in a crisis.

Of course, I’m always happy to offer help to someone else. I love doing good, seeking justice and rescuing the oppressed! I’m just lousy at accepting the same.

Today’s mandate to “bear one another’s burdens” isn’t a mere reminder to me that I should assist others in carrying their heavy loads, but that in order to have Christ-honoring relationships, I have to be willing to allow others to assist me.


  1. Chris, yes, it takes humility to receive help, and often our pride gets in the way of receiving. But we are not letting the other person get the blessing of giving, if we don't receive. We can be like toddlers sometimes, "I can do it MYSELF." Hee hee. Good post.

  2. Great reminder!! I am like you. I love to help but have a hard time receiving help. Recentlly someone gave me their car. Free. Now that was challenging! Thankful and grateful for others' care and generosity!

  3. great post! Think lots of us need this reminder

  4. Helen, Katie and Sally: You've all been models for me this past year in how to gracefully receive help. A place to live, a car, all that assistance during family crises. I've been watching and learning from YOU.