The bible is our guidebook to life. God sits outside of time, He is omniscient, omnipresent, and He has gifted us His Word to lead us through good times, perilous times, times of harvest and times of drought. I think we can all agree that this world is in a chaotic, sinful time in history.
As I just typed this opening paragraph an Amber Alert came across my phone. I have to pause and pray right now. Lord, in the Name of Jesus, I pray they find that kidnapped child immediately. Lord, please be with those parents and comfort them as they search. God in the Name of Jesus, bring into the light exactly where that child is and return them home. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Friend, God knew we would see this kind of evil. He knew it because He knows the evil that is in every human heart when they are not following the leadership of The Holy Spirit and The Word of God. God knew where we would be in 2021. I’m sure that’s why Jesus tried to prepare His disciples with how to live and pray and how to minister to the hurting.
Here is the thing. We suck at ministering to the hurting. Yes, I said the word suck. Because we do. We say stupid things to those who are grieving, struggling and needing encouragement and love. When we have not truly been through what the person who is hurting is going through, we have no empathetic lens with which to see through. So, we say stupid things.
It’s happened since biblical times. In Luke 8 we see this.
40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[a] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
I put in bold the ignorant thing said that I would like to address. Vs. 49. “Your daughter is dead, Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” Yuck, yuck, yuck! Is this how our human nature ministers to hurting, grieving people? Your daughter is dead, move on? What? This is a synagogue leader saying this to someone whose 12 year old daughter was on her deathbed and is now, as far as he understands, passed. He heard this news from a man who gave him this information while he was trying to save people’s time around him who may be “Inconvenienced” by his grief.
Oh my goodness, this kills me. But, the truth is, we see it everyday. I felt it one day when I was home in prayer, working and studying and I went on social media for a minute and saw so much sadness from people who were losing loved ones to COVID or had family members in the military being deployed to Afghanistan. I couldn’t help but grieve. I just started crying and God said to me. “People just keep scrolling.” It broke my heart thinking that this is the hardest thing about grief; when we are grieving, the world just keeps scrolling. People literally cannot understand how it feels to lose those you love, until terror and pain hits their zip code. The truth is, we humans suck at ministering to the hurting, unless we have been in their shoes once and felt that grief.
Jesus shows us how to minister to the hurting. Jesus portrays the mercy and love and compassion that we are supposed to emulate. It’s all through scripture. If you want to know how to love on the hurting, open your bible. Jesus did just what He wants us to do, don’t just keep scrolling. Don’t post hearts and praying hands and keep scrolling. Stop what you are doing and truly lift them up to the Father. Allow Holy Spirit to interfere with your schedule a bit and show some compassion. Show up and for Heaven’s sake, don’t quote scripture at them. Maybe just do what Jesus did when Mary and Martha thought they lost their brother Lazarus for good. Jesus wept. He went to them, and He cried with them. Well, then He raised him from the dead. But, the part we need to focus on is the first part. Comforting hurting people requires no words. Words mean nothing when we hurt. Just show up and be present.
Oh friend, in this selfish, selfie, social media driven, self-driven society we live in, we all need some help with this. We all could use a little Compassion 101 teaching from Jesus. How about we just show up, wrap an arm around someone, sit by them, and cry with them. Sometimes those tears scream Jesus more than any word in scripture.
That’s all I have to say about that.