In a recent conversation with a dear friend diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatments, she shared something that forever altered my perception and will never leave me.
Waiting her turn to receive her treatment, she noticed the others sitting around her. Many including her looked far removed from such a diagnosis. On the outside they appeared ‘normal’; healthy. And yet, on the inside they were fighting a life battle.
In waiting rooms, hospital elevators, church pews, grocery store lines, bus stops, the next home,….your own kitchen table may be someone fighting their own battle. On their exterior their plastered smile, quick responses and avoidant postures easily mask their physical, emotional and spiritual pain.
It’s only when we reach out beyond the, “How are you?” led by a genuine care, concern and love for another that brings us to the front lines with them.
Let’s not be misled by abrasive responses fired by pain, grief, sadness and hopelessness when so much is at stake.
Let’s not take for granted when another shares their burden with us. What an honour and privilege to come alongside.
Let’s not be afraid to be inconvenienced, go out of our way or get messy.
Let’s remember we need not know how to solve, fix, take away, or cure but there are things we can do like share our concern, time, a listening ear.
Jesus shares a story with us about the Good Samaritan found in the gospel of Luke; someone who took mercy on another. There was a man robbed, stripped, beaten and left for half dead. Two others noticed this poor man’s condition but passed him by. But one man didn’t.
“He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Luke 10:34 & 35
And Jesus’ instructions to us are the same, …….”Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:37
Thank you my dear friend, for sharing your insight and your recent journey. I am so thankful for you and our friendship.