Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
2 �Carry each other�s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.�

In this verse we are told to sympathize with those who face weaknesses, improprieties, burdens, temptations, infirmities and other various trials and troubles that each of us may face. Christ commanded us to love one another and therefore in performing this duty we are fulfilling the law of Christ to see to it that out fellow man and brothers and sisters in Christ are cared for. Pride, conceit, idolatry and covetousness often get in our way of compassion for others; therefore we must take care to abide in God�s care, His love and His mercy and grace. Our duty is to carry other�s burdens so they too may one day carry ours.

My 4-month-old daughter and I took a trip to the library. She babbled softly as I browsed through the books. I overheard an older man say gruffly, �Tell that kid to shut up, or I will.�

�I am very sorry for whatever has caused you to be so disturbed by a happy baby,� I angrily shot back, �but I will not tell her to shut up, and I will not let you do so either.�

I braced myself for an outburst but he looked down, took a deep breath, and said softly, �I apologize.� He had tears in his eyes, and we remained silent. Then he looked at my daughter. She smiled at him and happily kicked her arms and legs. Slowly, he said, �My son died when he was 2-months-old.�

I moved to sit in the chair next to him. He went on to explain that his son died from SIDS over 50 years ago. He described how his anger grew, leading to a failed marriage and isolation. I asked him to tell me about his son. As he did so, he smiled back and forth with my daughter. Eventually, he asked to hold her. As he held her, his shoulders relaxed, and he briefly laid his cheek on her head. He returned her to me with a heartfelt �Thank you.� I thanked him for sharing his story, and he quickly departed. [Written by Karisa Smith, Wheaton, Illinois]

How often do we encounter people who are abrupt, curt, angry and ill-tempered towards us for no reason and we are ready to punch back? Maybe, just maybe they need someone to reach out to them in compassion. Maybe the burdens of life have weighed them down so heavily they no long have any joy in their life. Maybe they need to see the love of Christ in someone.

When you meet someone smile. When you hear someone in a foul mood provide some encouraging words. When you see someone in need provide what you can. God will honor your good deeds and the fruit of your labor will prosper. Try it and see what happens.