I’m not a fitness guru by nature, but over the last several years I have come to appreciate the many health benefits of frequent exercise and healthy eating. I’ve become a marathon runner, and I try to do core workouts on a somewhat regular basis.
But I’m no weightlifter.
I stretch routinely, enjoy speed workouts, running up hills, and navigating the trails. But I’m not a weightlifter. Unless it comes to the people around me. When family, friends, colleagues or students are carrying heavy burdens, I want to help.
I want to lift the weight off their shoulders.
But sometimes the people closest to us don’t like to ask for relief. They don’t want to burden us. So they carry their worries in silence, even with a smile on their face. They trudge on, painfully alone with the weight bearing down on their shoulders, bowing their backs and sapping their strength.
Yet friends don’t let friends trudge on in isolated misery. We want to help. We want to carry the burdens, because your friendship has buffeted us through previous storms, and we want to return the favor. We yearn for tangible ways to prove that you matter, and sharing your burdens not only lightens your load, but it brightens our heart.
While the weights in the gym may offer no real attraction, the burdens of a close friend are weights I want to help lift.