Clergy, Journey to Healing, Recovering Humanity

The Weight We Carry

“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.”

Today, I went into the pool for the first time in I don’t know how long. Once I got past the shock of the cold water, I walked and allowed the water to relax me. After a couple of hours of stretching, hopping, and moving, it was time to get out. I did not realize how much weight I was carrying around until the top half of my body was out of the water. All the weight that had been carried by the water had now fallen back on me. By the time I was completely out, my entire body was heavy. I had to walk very slowly, for the weight was just too much.

As I sat and reflected on what was happening, Matthew 11:28-30 took on a new meaning. I now knew what Jesus meant when he said “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” See, when I got into the pool, I could move freely. Yes. There was resistance to some of my movements, but I could stretch further and bend a little easier. The water relieved the tension that was keeping my muscles from being flexible. The water was softening the bends in my joints. The water in the pool made moving a whole lot better with a whole lot of ease. But, when I got out the water, I no longer had it’s support. I had to carry the load all by myself. It was hard on my legs, heavy on my feet, pressing on my lungs, and filled my head. And, this was symbolic of how I was living my life.

I had worries. And, I had cares. But, they weren’t anything I could not handle (or so I thought). I was carrying around a lot of weight, some of it mine but most of it others. It was impacting my ability to fully function and limiting parts of my body. I could not move how I wanted nor could I go as I pleased. It all fell on me, and I had no idea the gravity of the weight I carried until I let I was supported by something else, and it was removed. Those worries and cares felt a little different when I no longer had the water to carry them.

The water in the pool that day was Jesus’ yoke that I put upon me. The water was me relying on God and not on my own strength. The water removed the barriers that kept me from moving freely and allowed me to go to and fro without the pain, the tension, and the weight. I could breathe a little easier. I could move a little better. I could bend and extend in ways I couldn’t before. I could rest and let the water do the rest. My burden became light because I put them in the water.

And, it would be good enough for that to be the end, but something else happened. When I returned to the pool the second time, something strange happened when I got out. The weight wasn’t as heavy. Because my body was becoming accustomed to relying on the water, it learned how to redistribute the weight. I was no longer carrying it all by myself. And, I am just crazy enough to believe that if I had continued to visit the pool, I would have left weight free. I guess Jesus’ yoke really is easy.


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