Come to me, all you that are weary and are 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
Her name was Evelyn. She was eleven years old, and had been born with a condition that left her legs paralyzed. Evelyn’s condition had never been diagnosed or treated as such medical luxuries were beyond her family’s means in their tiny Mayan village, and on the day I first met her, she was literally carried into the clinic on her mother’s back.
We soon learned that this frail, 4’8” mother had been functioning as Evelyn’s only legs for her entire eleven years of life. She had carried her daughter the 10-hour journey to arrive at our clinic, and as she began to speak it was clear that she had come not to see the doctor, but to leave her daughter with us. As Evelyn was growing, her mother was not physically able to carry her anymore. There were tears in her eyes as she shared her fears of what might happen to Evelyn, and how she loved her daughter too much to risk keeping her in the village.
As I spoke with her mother, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the clinic receptionist had left the room. It was only moments later that she returned with a wheelchair and was helping Evelyn into it. Her mother’s tears turned to sobs as she realized that with this simple gift she would be able to continue caring for her daughter.
I was flooded not only with gratitude that we had a wheelchair to give, but also with the realization that like Evelyn’s mother, I too try to carry burdens beyond what I can shoulder. While her mother had no other option, how many times have I carried burdens out of sheer stubbornness or pride? How often have I risked something failing because I failed to ask for help or simply admit that I can’t do it on my own? How often have I ignored Jesus’ invitation to come to Him and take His yoke upon me? It’s not my place to carry the weight of the world; Jesus has already done that.