September 2, 2022
People will often ask me, “Who helped you the most when you were hurting?”
That’s a good question, but I can never seem to come up with a fast answer. I guess that’s because there was no one person – no famous writer, no brainy seminary student, no super-sensitive counselor.
No, answers to questions didn’t come from “extraordinary” people. Frankly, when I was first injured in my diving accident and left paralyzed, I wasn’t looking for wisdom or knowledge.
At first I was just looking for love.
You don’t have to have a PhD or a master’s from some Bible college in order to give love. Average, commonplace people are just as necessary in the healing process as counselors and theologians. All of us have the capacity to give love to someone who is hurting.
That should be good news to you – especially those of you looking for ways to alleviate the pain of a friend in the hospital or a family member going through a crushing disappointment.
If you and I are truly looking for an answer to the question, How do I help those who are in pain? We don’t have to have a lot of answers.
We don’t even have to know all the specialized Scriptures or 101 reasons God allows suffering. All we’ve got to know is love.
The only Scripture we might need at first is 1 Corinthians 13. We don’t have to understand whether people in pain want to be cheered up or consoled.
We don’t have to rationalize, wondering, What possible good could my presence do? We don’t have to guess whether somebody wants to talk about his suffering or not.
Instead of getting yourself all tangled up in those guessing games, remember: The only thing you really need to give is love.
I most appreciated those people who came into the hospital armed with love – and Seventeen magazines and Winchell’s doughnuts.
I appreciated friends dropping by to help me write letters or bringing writing paper and envelopes – even stamps. I was super impressed when others brought birthday cards for me to send to a friend whose special day was coming up.
I especially remember a few girls who made it a weekly ritual to come by and do my nails. What fun!
These were people who helped. They weren’t trained counselors. They weren’t spiritual giants.
They weren’t biblical wizards. They weren’t PhDs. They weren’t even full of all kinds of knowledge and wisdom.
They were just commonplace, everyday sorts of people who gave me what I needed most of all: God’s love in action.
The Glorious Pursuit
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Love never fails.
A passionate faith is a compassionate faith. It takes action on behalf of others in any way it can. What’s some simple way you can touch a life, even if just by your presence or your caring, listening ear?
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