After breakfast the next morning, Alessandra was sitting with Rob and Cathy on the front porch discussing the fact that Katey would obviously not be coming to teach Lingala that day.
Suddenly their conversation was interrupted by the same type of pitiful wail Alessandra had heard before. It was the sound of a woman who had lost her child. And, although the ten-foot high wall prevented them from watching the procession, the three could visualize her progress past the property and down the street.
As the cries dimmed into the distance, a knock was heard at the front gate, and Alessandra went immediately to answer it. When she saw Katey, her fears were realized. She could tell from the droop of his shoulders and the sorrow his countenance expressed, that it was his child that had died, making that mournful mother they had heard, her friend Matshingi.
She followed him along the walkway to the house with tears streaming down her cheeks and watched as Rob rose to embrace his brother in Christ. Cathy and Alessandra stood to one side and witnessed the shared sorrow of these two friends from the opposite ends of the Globe.
Sorrow is universal. Pain, loss, and trauma are universal. And the capacity to empathize is universal, crossing cultures and languages through the simple act of a hug. And though we humans can share compassion for each other, there is One Who truly grasps the human condition and bears our burdens. A prophecy, referring to Jesus Christ, in Isaiah 53:3 calls Him, “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Jesus gets us. He really does. He walked a mile in humanity’s shoes and can comfort us like no other. Let’s bear each other’s burdens. And let’s cast our burdens on God, too.