Tuesday, November 8, 2011
After the sermon on Sunday, a sermon that really affected me, a sermon I thought might take some time to work out in my head- I had to practice it that evening.
Caring is a trait even I can admit is something I enjoy and can do. I can do it well, and I can do it halfhearted. But caring has been a part of my heart for forever, even before Christ took over my heart.
Our sermon was on caring, bringing us to the parable of The Good Samaritan. Do you realize that the first two people to pass this injured bleeding man on the side of the road was a Priest and a Levite- the two highest powers in the earthly church- a pastor and a church leader.... passed him by. The people who should be the most caring to others in need passed him by. To show the humanity in even the highest ranks of the 'church' we find out that they don't stop because the hurt person was from Jerusalem- a person unworthy of their help. Unthinkable that men of the clothe could assume themselves so much better than a layperson of a different race. The way it was explained really was sickening. But the man who did stop and help was the man who had a reason to hate the hurt man. A Samaritan. He saw the need, the life and death need of that man and he helped him. He fixed him up as good as possible then paid for his room for a couple days and care from the roomkeeper AND said he would be back to give more money if it was needed.
Caring costs us.
I've learned to care more deeply and more passionately because of how me and my family were cared for by you. Thank you friends.
But more than that my children have seen caring in action and they have learned to care also. It's kind of like a monumental parenting moment when you see that they get it- how to care. Now Abbi has always shown care and concern for people, shed tears over people and bad situations. She can understand how people feel. But now it's Austin's turn.
On Sunday evening we found out that one of his best friends dad died. Mark was a kind and gentle man and he and his son Aaron were quite close. Austin and Aaron have been friends since first grade. Lots of history, lots of fun, lots of hanging out with the family. Kinda like brothers that get along! Aaron wanted to have some time with Austin just to have some normalcy. So we went over sunday evening and spent some time with my friend Laura and Aaron. They played xbox- dah- and Laura and I talked. But I watched Austin step up and be ready to care. When I told him what happened and that Aaron wanted to see him he was ready. I didn't have to explain the importance of friendship, of how hard that night would be, of how mixed the emotions of the whole family would be. He just was ready. He also got to spend the next day with him and Aaron's uncle just hanging out. I emailed all of Austins teachers explaining the situation and that if Aaron needed Austin then I wanted and Austin wanted to be able to be there. I was so surprised by the positive responses from them. But that is a side issue. The point is that he cares and to see it happen in front of your eyes is so amazing. My kids are awesome and some of it has to do with what they have witnessed from you, me, and their friends.
Caring costs. It takes time and energy and often money to care properly for someone in crisis. If we can take that first step and walk into their crisis, we will be able to care. If we hang back and just watch, we can't really help or care for them. Now who would walk past a family whose father and husband just died? Let me make it more challenging and add that he committed suicide. Now can you walk past? It's easier isn't it because the death just got so much harder, the caring got so much more committed.
Isaiah 58:10-11 says: If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness. If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then you light shall dawn in the darkness and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your soul in drought, strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
In other words, if we will pick up and help with the problems of others without judgement and pour our soul into their lives, then the light of our Lord will shine thru us. We don't have to worry about doing things 'right' because God will guide us and keep us strong enough to continue with caring for others. We will be rejuvenated with Gods love and care in our soul so we will always have enough love to care.
So I say again, Love on. And on and on and on and on and don't stop because you are scared. Your strength, your words, your hug, your meal might be the source of light that penetrates their soul. You might be one of many that bring the love of Jesus to them and makes the difference in their lives and salvation.