Look around you. The people you walk among are so valuable to God that he sent his one and only son to this earth to be tortured, humiliated and killed. For our sake! Just because the person next to you has a smile doesn’t mean everything is alright. Take a few moments to lend an ear or sometimes give a testimony. It just may be the difference between life and death.

What is the one thing above all things that most of us choose not to share or discuss? While I am sure it varies; I believe no one really likes to remember the pain and suffering we have gone through. I am very confident that no one wants to go through pain and suffering.

As brothers and sisters in Christ; why don’t we share one another’s burdens more often? Luke 24:13-15. We are all so quick to share the new car, invite for the house warming or the baby shower. What about when we lose our jobs or our dog dies or when someone calls you that awful name at school?

This may seem strange but I have a very fond memory of a time of pain and suffering. Back when I was around 19 I got into some trouble and everything that I had around me was melting before my eyes. I thought to my self that no one could possibly suffer the way I did. I even had thoughts of suicide. I was forced to go to a similar meeting to AA but it is called EA (emotions anonymous). After being there a month or so, a man around 30 years old came up to me and asked if I was ok? I replied “Do I look like I am ok?” He said; “I know where you are coming from.” I replied “You have no idea where I am coming from! Who do you think you are?” Well after a few more colorful words the man told me that he knows that I am not willing to discus my burden. He asked me would I mind if he shared his. Well after all that tongue lashing I gave him that was the least I could do. So here is what he said:

I am a selfish man.

My whole life has been based on me. I had a wife and three kids. I got addicted to cocaine. One day after doing coke I had to pick my family up from the mall. My wife, daughter and two sons got in the car. After the usual fighting we left the parking lot and headed home. I could hardly see the yellow line much less the truck coming at me as I veered off into his lane. The last thing I remember is my wife screaming no… I can hear it now echoing in my head. After I woke up in the hospital the first thing I worried about was getting in trouble for being under the influence and driving. I remember thinking “I hope the cops didn’t look in the glove box!” After my first concern “ME” I asked where my family was and were they ok? I will never forget the response: No, Mr. *** your family is not alright. You killed them all! Shortly after, I was charged with manslaughter and now I am talking to you.

This story is true unfortunately. You may wonder how in the world I could have a fond memory from any of this.

My life was changed forever after that man shared his burden with me. I was at the brink of suicide but because he shared with me his pain I was able to understand that I am not alone. I was able to understand that other people suffer a great deal more than me and maybe my pain is not so bad. I still think of his story to this day when I face trials and I also remember that God blessed me with the daughter I have now and if he would have listened to my prayers back then I would never know the joy of my daughter now.

I don’t know all of you. I may not have ever gone through what you are or will be going through but “I understand where you are coming from“. If any of you ever need to talk please don’t hesitate. Who knows Jesus may stop in and say what’s up? Luke 24:13-15 I am just one man, I promise you; there are so many kind brothers and sisters just waiting to share life with you. Isn’t it time we put aside our embarrassment or fears and be the body of Christ we are called to be? Won’t you lend an ear to someone you know that may be in pain? Take your guard down for a moment and share your inner self and watch for Christ. He is near!

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