Burden Bearing

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

The Bible places a high priority on how we treat each other and work together.  Paul instructs us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2).  Burden bearing blesses both parties.  Here are some current examples:

Rhemy Elsey is in the fifth grade in Peoria, Illinois.  He is deaf.  A group of his classmates have given up their recess time so they can learn sign language to better communicate with him.

The kids meet in the library every Wednesday at lunch to be taught by Rhemy’s interpreter, Tammy Arvin.  She explained that often deaf children feel isolated with adult interpreters who follow them around all day.  “So it’s wonderful to see him have interactions with students that are one-on-one.”  When Rhemy realized how much his classmates cared for him by learning to sign with him, he said, “It’s like they want to be like me.”

Landen Palatino was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.  He is a nine-year old from Springfield, Massachusetts.  Landen’s buddy, Brady Kahle, empathized and wanted to help his friend.  He has decided to sell his beloved baseball card collection to help pay for Landen’s treatment.  He has been collecting baseball memorabilia since he was three years old.  He has now earned more than $7,000 from his sales to help Landen.  He is even going to part with his prized signed ball by Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. to help his friend.  Brady’s mom, Tina, says it is really incredible what Brady has done.  Most adults wouldn’t do that.

Two Pennsylvania middle schoolers, Andrew Mindy and Casandra Stewart, had to sit out their school’s music classes because each has only one hand.  But now they can play along with other students thanks to a 3-D printer and a talented ninth-grader, Nicholas Brown.  Nicholas spent the past year designing two custom prosthetic hands:  A right hand guitar strummer for Casandra, and a left-hand drumstick gripper for Andrew.

Nicholas has made it possible for Andrew and Casandra to participate in music class.  What we cannot do by ourselves, we can join with somebody else and make beautiful music!

Even the corporate world is emphasizing empathy as a means to improve management, retain employees and influence design decisions.  The Wall Street Journal reports that about 20 percent of U.S. employers now offer some empathy training.

At Ford Motor Company, newly hired design engineers don weighted “empathy bellies” to simulate the experience of being pregnant.  This training has led to ergonomic tweaks in the company’s vehicles.  People will be safer, but those new empathy skills have also been a boost to the bottom line.  The top ten businesses on the 2015 Global Empathy Index, which examines factors like how well companies treat workers and communicate with customers, generated 50 percent more income per employee than the 10 lowest ranked firms!

How quickly are we willing to go to those in need?

Martin Aircraft has spent the last 35 years trying to develop a personalized jetpack which can carry one passenger weighing up to 265 pounds more than 3,000 feet in the air.  It’s gasoline powered and can take off and land vertically, “meaning rooftops, gardens and parking lots are all viable launch pads.”  It will go on sale in 2017, and isn’t being marketed as an “expensive toy” but as a device for first responders.  The idea is that it can quickly get to people in need, even in tight, hard to reach spaces.

Burden bearers already have spiritual jet packs provided by God to get to people in need quickly!

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