Nobody Likes to be Carried

Nobody likes to be carried.

We crave independence.

“Stand tall. Walk while you have able legs. Run with all your might,” they might say.

Why would I want to be carried? Babies are carried from room to room. They might enjoy it a bit.

The elderly have no choice but to be carried by another from time to time.

So why would I want to be carried, unless there was some weakness in me—like that in the infant or in the elderly?

Weakness. Frailty. Hindrance. Lack.

But, I haven’t yet talked about the one who carries the other.

For the infant–the parent, another relative, or nursery worker picks up the little one. She holds him and carries him from sleep to eat to play to change their diaper.

The caregiver, son, or daughter picks up the elderly man or woman and carries him or her to their moving chair or dining room chair.

The one who carries is strong, deliberate, present, and able–full of tenderness and vision.

Then again, maybe at times the able-bodied like to be carried.

The bride to be carried by her groom into their room of welcoming love and sacred touch.

The man found inside his home in flames—being rescued from the fire and carried out into the safety of another.

I want to be carried. I need to be carried through this life, this valley, this story—by the strength, love, and tenderness of another.

I am weak. I am frail. I am hindered. You name it, I lack it.

I need the strength, love, and tenderness of Another.

I don’t like to be carried. But I need to be carried.

“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you,
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and I will save.” (Isaiah 46:3-4)


Partly inspired by Andre Dubus’ book, Meditations from a Movable Chair, (1999)

Photo by 小胖 车 on Unsplash