John 13:34-35 (NIV)
�A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.�
The disciples knew the Ten Commandments of the law, but here Jesus gives them a new commandment to love one another as Christ loved them. For Christ loved them where they were in life and brought them close to Him.
In her funny, off-beat memoir, journalist and writer Heather Havrilesky reminds us how community (whether in a family or a church family) implies carrying one another's burdens. Havrilesky writes:
If I get sick or lose my mind, I'll ask my husband or my kids or my friends to rise to the occasion and come to my aid. And they'd better come through for me, [darn] it! I dried your tears and paid too much for replicas of lost teddy bears on eBay. I took care of cats and plants and talked you through home purchases and career dilemmas and bad breakups. �
I'll continue to be there, as long as I can be. But someday, you might have to come to my rescue. Brace yourselves, because it won't be pretty. Isn't that what love and friendship are really about?
We weren't meant to suffer alone! We weren't meant to � escape the indignity and frustration of asking for help, for needing help, from someone who might not always enjoy giving it, someone who gets on our nerves, who has never made much sense to us, someone whom we break down and bicker with occasionally. We were meant to lean on each other, as messy and imperfect as that can be, to be capable when we can, and to allow the world to take care of us when we can't. It won't be all bad. Or it will be. But at least we'll have each other. [Heather Havrilesky, Disaster Preparedness (Riverhead Trade, 2011), page 57]
Heather is right when she says �we weren�t meant to suffer alone� and we should not allow others to suffer alone either. We should be able to love and be loved. We should follow the example of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 below and express love to those who need it.
1 Corinthians 13 says, �4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.�