It’s amazing to me who walks through the doors of Collide and what they are carrying. Our last women’s event centered around the collision with Jesus and the four men who carried their friend and unroofed a roof to get to where He was. This man, who couldn’t get where he wanted to go, allowed some men in his life to carry his burdens.
We had a lovely night being challenged by the law of Christ set out in Galatians, which is this: Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. We shared a meal, worship, the experience of six artists painting this collision from Mark 2 from a different perspective of each character in the story, a counselor panel, speakers and women sharing stories. It was a night full of rich spiritual insight.
We also shared our burdens. Every woman that walked into Collide received a “burden bag” full of rocks to wear on their backs. (Yes, we hand collected 2,100 rocks from a rock quarry.) We paused at one point in the evening and asked each woman to think of a burden they carry for someone else and to write that on one of their rocks. Then we challenged them to go a bit deeper and write burdens they also carry for themselves. And all throughout the night women- old friends, new friends, sisters, mothers, daughters, strangers and acquaintances- all carried each other’s burdens, passing these rocks around and carrying other’s burdens.
I myself carried the burdens of others that had words like “depression”, “suicidal thoughts”, “addiction”, “loneliness” and “divorced” written on them. By the end of the evening, each of us had seen so many burdens and were by then carrying people’s burdens we didn’t even know in our bag. We invited women to bring these burdens to the cross. And what we saw was incredibly powerful.
We as women are so weighed down at times, and it is often hard to allow other people into what burdens us. We frequently feel like people can’t handle this weight, nor can God. God can not only handle our burdens, He chooses to take them on!
The Bible says in Isaiah 53, God took on our pain and bore our suffering. If there ever was a co-sufferer, it is Jesus. He was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. God took upon himself the punishment that brought us peace. He was wounded so we could be healed. God not only takes upon Himself the burdens that burdened us, but He says bring me all your “I’m not fines.” Matthew says, Come unto me. All you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Psalm 55 says Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you. And in Isaiah 46:4 the Bible says, Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
Over and over again, God reminds us that we are a CARRIED people. God will carry us when we are carrying our own burdens and those of others. God will give us the strength when we feel weak. God will sustain us when we can’t go any further. God will handle what we can’t. We can hand our burdens to the One who promises to carry us all and hand them to Him we did. About 700 women…. women with wrinkles and women without, extroverts and introverts, stay at home moms and working moms, students and grandmas, Baptists, Presbyterians and irreligious women…women of all ages, stages, experiences and faith backgrounds carried those darn heavy rocks with all their back stories to the foot of the cross. We handed them over recognizing we can’t do much about them, but God sure can.
Again, I continue to be amazed at the stories that walk through the doors of Collide and the immense bravery these women have to not only share their pain but their victories too. God is meeting women in the midst of their burdens and bringing about healing just as He did for the man who was lowered through the roof by his friends. God is also using women in amazing, amazing ways to carry the pain and stress and darkness of others to the only One who can bring about healing, peace and light.
We are a CARRIED people.
Can’t wait for our next women’s event?!….register here….