Dear Brother,

I know I am not your keeper. But that you are everyone else’s.

I know the 2am phone calls and the Saturday knock on the door. I know the split-second decisions you often make. The confidentiality held. The burdens born. The tears you choke back. The doubt in your own mind as you assure the one in front of you.

I know resting takes work. Because it’s hard to turn off your brain to all that’s happening around you. I know focusing on your spouse, your marriage, yourself takes concerted effort. I know it sometimes feels like everyone wants a piece of your soul.

I know you live and breathe the wrestling. You get paid to listen, to guide, to nurture, to pray. You wonder where the work ends and the ministry begins.

I know you sense the lack of understanding, you hold a place for the loneliness, the accusations, the incredulity of others. What do you actually do anyway?

But here’s what else I know. When you fight off the creeping cynicism. When you beg God for perspective. When you pick up your head and look around. Those burdens you bear, those tears your skin absorbs, there’s new life there. There is Jesus. There is hope. Never lose sight of the hope. Fight for it with your whole being.