For the Broken and the Weary
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
What is rest?
Is there rest that lasts beyond the sleep of night?
Is there rest that goes beyond the Sabbath day?
Even in the morning, the fatigue sets in, veiling my eyes
I run from one place to the next, never stopping to see
The clouds inching by against a backdrop of blue
I need rest. The kind of rest that sustains
The soul through the most hopeless of times, the kind of rest that
Lifts the burdens of an overburdened heart,
The kind of rest that can only come from someone who
Gives and gives without asking for anything in return,
Like water from a well that does not run dry
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened
I am weary, my eyes laced with worry. I feel broken by our own world
And its brokenness, the burdens leaving
Bruises on aching shoulders.
We carry sand and concrete all at once, tiny rocks and heavy boulders.
And yet, at times I find it difficult to lay them down, unable to escape
Come to me
Teach me who you are, what you say.
These days I find no answers from looking back or looking forward.
What do I do? Where do I go? To whom do I run?
I hear you calling me to pause, reflect, sit at your feet
Look up, I hear you say, look here.
And if I need to repeat your words to myself again and again,
Then I will—until silence falls, until the world stops for even a moment,
And all I hear is your voice, saying,
I see brokenness every day. I hear it in patients’ voices. I see it in their scars, the ones seen and unseen. I feel it when we sit in the silence. Sometimes the tears come, sometimes all I can do is reach out my hands, gloved, hovering. Sometimes all I have to offer is one tissue after another.
People go to doctors for healing. They want to know what is wrong, what is the diagnosis, how can it be treated. They lay out their questions. They reveal the aches of their hearts. They search for answers, and often, there are none. I see their worries, their fears, their eyes wondering, what now? What is to come? Sometimes, there are diseases that are in fact treatable. Streptococcal pharyngitis (aka strep throat), for instance, resolves with antibiotics. There are even diseases that are preventable, such as vaccines against polio. Still, there are hundreds of more cases without any guaranteed treatment. Everything is exacerbated all the more by the times and circumstances we live in.
Each day, I walk through a place that bears witness to the pain of fellow human beings. Hospitals take record of the hurting. As a graduating medical student who will soon enter the workforce, I am consciously aware that I will not always witness physical healing in people’s lives. I will not always know what to say, what to do, how to treat this or that. Medicine—even modern medicine—can only do so much. And yet, as a follower of Christ, I need to remind myself that there is still hope, and I can share this hope in the world of medicine. For example, one particular verse I’ve tried to live out is 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NIV): “we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” This means that I can listen intently to patients, care for them, and let them know they will not walk this journey alone. Jesus is the one who does this all perfectly. He is that someone who is able to do both physical and spiritual healing. He is the one who knows each person fully, who knows what they need, who walks with them through the darkest of times. I repeat these words to myself when I wake up in the morning and when I leave the workplace at night. One day, there will no longer be a need for a hospital. But while we are here on this earth, even now, there is still someone out there who says, come, all you who are weary and heavy laden, come.
Anna Delamerced is a medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School.
Illustrated by Helena Suh, RISD '23.