The Things We Carry

Image by Pascal Bernardon at Unsplash

Walking through my village over recent weeks, I’ve noticed how few people are empty handed. Most people walking along are carrying something.

One man carried a reel of electrical cable over his arm. Was he an electrician by trade going to work in someone’s home or was he going to repair or replace something in his own? 

Another man carried a sheaf of what looked like official documents. Perhaps he was on his way to a solicitor’s or accountant’s office?

A woman carried a child’s scooter, its handlebars hooked over her arm. She was probably taking it home after her child had ridden it to school. No doubt she’d be carrying it in the opposite direction later, to meet its owner at the end of the school day. Perhaps she’d even sneak a ride herself when she thought no one was looking?

Someone else carried a plastic cage containing a cat, its furious face pressed against the bars on the door, as it neared the veterinary surgery.

A man carried a newspaper folded under one arm and another man a tennis racquet, while a woman, on her way to the sports centre, had a rolled yoga mat.

Someone carried an envelope towards the mail box: a birthday card? The response to an invitation? a letter of condolence? acceptance of an exciting new job offer?

A young mother with a pushchair (stroller) full of shopping carried a toddler on her hip, possibly the result of pestering by the child, seeking a different view of the world from a higher vantage point.

Someone exited the local florist’s shop carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Who and what was that intended for? A present for a loved one? The means of apology?

Inevitably I saw several people carrying take away cups of coffee from the local deli and the various cafés.

I could go on. These were the things I noticed, almost without looking, that people had with them. Things representing working lives, contact with officialdom, family and leisure time, care and relationships.

But, I wondered, what else were they carrying? What invisible things? What joys, what successes, what sadnesses or grief, what challenges, what boredom and frustration, what feelings of helplessness or worthlessness?

I thought about the things I sometimes carry visibly: a yoga mat, an envelope, a cup of coffee and then I began to think about the things I carry which are invisible to others and which I sometimes struggle to think about or even acknowledge.

Yet Jesus, who is always walking with me, knows what I’m carrying deep inside and, if anything gets too heavy or overwhelming, I know He will carry it for me if I share it with Him and allow Him to take it from me. Nothing is too heavy or too awkward a shape.

I wonder how many of the people I’ve passed recently know about Jesus and how fully he wants to share in and can help carry our burdens: the small everyday ones and the larger more complicated ones?

As I walk, I try always to smile at everyone I pass and, if it seems appropriate, say something. The smile and the words are silent prayers and greetings I carry to them and for them, from Jesus. Whatever else I may be carrying I carry His love. 

What do YOU carry? What COULD you carry to others?

3 thoughts on “The Things We Carry

  1. Beautifully written Sherrian, ‘I want to hold your hand’ resonates again.
    I, too, so often have these thoughts, folk carrying visible items but even more importantly, wonder about the invisible. I like to hope that smiles and any words spoken may have some impact even if I never know. Thank you again

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liz. Every little thing we can do can be so powerful – or, rather, what is being done through us. We are so fortunate to be always carrying the best gift possible.


  2. Another “look at life” in its everydayness but bringing beautiful spiritual truths and practical ways to “be about our father’s business” .

    Liked by 1 person

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