Whoever we are, there are times when we all want releasing from one thing or another. Our cross can come in the shape of an affliction, illness, person, place, disposition or some particular circumstance. We each are asked to walk stony roads at times in our lives and at such times, the crosses we carry become heavier.
There are some who experience pain so much that all they pray for is a quick end to their earth life. Others experience penury and poverty to such an extent that hope of a better tomorrow never appears to be in their grasp or on their horizon. Many are laden with heavy debt they will never pay: others like recent amputees from war zones now live without limbs to walk: thousands of homeless rest their heads on the cold concrete pavement of shop doorways on bitter-cold nights or who are forced to cram their families into one rented room in which they eat, sleep, defecate and live: and many hundreds of thousands in low-paid employment are forced to depend on food banks and charity shops to feed and clothe their families. And this is in England; one of the world's six richest countries!
I once heard of a soldier who planned to marry his sweetheart when he next had home leave. One week before the appointed wedding, he was blown up by a roadside bomb and was badly facially scarred and left a double amputee. The wedding was postponed until the following year. It was anticipated that the soldier would need constant support for the rest of his life. His sweetheart became so fearful about the life ahead she faced as the wife to a double amputee who would be wholly dependent on her. In truth, she probably wanted to be released from her engagement to marry. She couldn't help feeling that by breaking off their engagement and cancelling the wedding she was acting dishonourably. Her guilt of intended action was eventually solved when her soldier sweetheart couldn't face life in his drastically reduced state and sadly committed suicide.
As Christmas approaches this year, was I able to wave a magic wand, my wish would be to lighten the heavy burdens that many are asked to carry so that they might approach 2019 with more hope of a better year than the year they are leaving behind. I cannot free them from their hardships, but at the very least, I can pray for their release from hardship.
Love and peace. Bill xxx