To Have No Burden To Carry

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Sadhu Sundar Singh was a missionary to his people in India, in the early 1900’s.

Late one afternoon, Sadhu was traveling on foot through the Himalayas, with a Buddhist monk as a traveling companion. It was bitterly cold and the wind felt like sharp blades slicing into their skins. Night was fast approaching when the monk warned Sadhu that they were both in danger of freezing to death if they did not reach the monastery before darkness fell.

Suddenly, on a narrow path above a steep precipice, they heard a cry for help. At the foot of the cliff lay a man, fallen and badly hurt. The monk looked at Sadhu and said, “Do not stop. God has brought this man to his fate. He must work it out for himself. Let us hurry on before we, too, perish.”

But Sadhu replied, “God has sent me here to help my brother. I cannot abandon him.”

The monk continued trudging off through the whirling snow. But Sadhu climbed down the steep embankment to help the man. The injured man’s leg was broken and he couldn’t walk, so Sadhu made a sling with his blanket and tied the man on his back. With great difficulty, Sadhu climbed back up the cliff, and he was now drenched in sweat.

Doggedly, Sadhu made his way through the deepening snow and darkness, while carrying the injured man. It was all he could do to follow the path. But he persevered, though faint with fatigue and overheated from exertion. Finally, he saw ahead the lights of the monastery.

Then, for the first time, Sadhu stumbled and nearly fell. But not from weakness. He had stumbled over an object lying in the snow-covered road. Slowly he bent down on one knee and brushed the snow off the object. It was the body of the monk, frozen to death.

Years later a disciple of Sadhu’s asked him, “What is life’s most difficult task?”

Without hesitation Sadhu replied: “To have no burden to carry.”