Often, but especially over the past few days, I have felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. It tends to be not because my life is bad – indeed, I feel I have been blessed beyond measure – but the turmoil and suffering of the world around me weighs heavily upon me. Sometimes it is guilt that I am flitting about my comfortable life while others do not have that luxury (not that I don’t have problems, but they often seem so small in the face of issues like famine, unemployment, terminal illnesses, etc.), sometimes it is plain and simple empathy, or sometimes it is a feeling of helplessness that nothing I can do will make a dent in the strife… it’s just a drop of freshwater in the ocean. And certainly there is the frightening realization that it is only a matter of time before the badness I see around me hits closer to home.
As my heart ached, I considered that I cannot possibly be the only one despairing over these things, and I wondered how I might share some comfort with anyone else who feels the way I do. Certainly, we childfree can take some comfort in the fact that we are not forcing another person into such an existence (“better…is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.” Ecc. 4:3). But beyond that, we are offered a little hope for ourselves – not that things will get better here, but that there is something more powerful than this world: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)