We must be so heavy

Walking my dogs around the block halfway through watching “The Green Mile”, and by walk, I mean that I was carrying my dog the entire way.

You see, while I was in China, Ella broke her leg. They heard something in the middle of the night, and after it broke, she had to have it set and get surgery and she’s now on the mend. We got to the thought of a walk since I know it’s been so long since they went on one; it was a month ago she broke the leg. My mom didn’t tell me while I was in China, which was wise since I would have been a wreck. Coming home means I can take care of her, although hearing about it and monitoring her health has been kind of scary.

Anyways. Her leg is much better, but she’s resting. I couldn’t imagine leaving her there, so I tucked the leash I put on her harness into my pocket, held her with one hand and a little of another, and walked Ted with what was left of the other hand.

Now I’m not exactly muscular, but I’m getting in better shape due to grace. My arms ache from the 12 minutes I held her chunky body around the block. It made me think of how heavy we must all be when Christ needs to carry is through painful life situations. My arms feel worn and that was only a little. Like, dang.

I was shocked how she just let me hold her. Now, Ella is MY dog. She trusts me and pays special attention to me more than everyone else in my family, which is why it grieves me to know that I wasn’t there when she got hurt. She let me hold her like a little baby and trade her between my arms and my shoulder spaces, and she was so quiet, just along for the ride. She let me hold her so gently and we took our time as we walked around the block. She was not in pain, but from what I saw, at peace. Ella felt safe with me. In the depts of my doubt, I wish that I better know what that means.

In our painful moments, how many of us would let ourselves gently be carried, without throwing a couple elbows? Maybe I’m more inclined to raise hell than the rest of us, but I don’t always let myself be carried lightly. Sometimes I’m sure that my stubbornness is a kicking and screaming burden to he who helps me, but he helps me just the same. Ella was so calm and safe. She trusted who was carrying her. Why can’t we all do that?

We made it home, and as a mortality reminder, I iced my arms. My right arm is still aching. She was so (barely) heavy. I wonder how much the rest of us weigh.


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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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