In this world, YOU are needed desperately!
A nurse escorted a tired, anxious young man to the bed side of an elderly man.
“Your son is here,” she whispered to the patient. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened.
He was heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack and he dimly saw the young man standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand and the young man tightly wrapped his fingers around it, squeezing a message of encouragement. The nurse brought a chair next to the bedside. All through the night the young man sat holding the old man’s hand, and offering gentle words of hope. The dying man said nothing as he held tightly to his son.
As dawn approached, the patient died. The young man placed on the bed the lifeless hand he had been holding, and then he went to notify the nurse.
While the nurse did what was necessary, the young man waited. When she had finished her task, the nurse began to say words of sympathy to the young man.
But he interrupted her. “Who was that man?” he asked.
The startled nurse replied, “I thought he was your father!”
“No, he was not my father,” he answered. “I never saw him before in my life.”
“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?” asked the nurse.
The young man replied, “I knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. When I realized he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, I knew how much he needed me.”
Fellow Christian, in this world, YOU are needed desperately!
We live in a world broken from, and full of sin and it’s ugly consequences; people are lost and dying without Christ and there’s no one to come alongside and care for them.
That was a real problem even when Jesus Christ walked this earth. He highlighted the issue, and the need for our stepping into lives to care for others, by telling what has become a very popular story …
“Jesus replied with a story: ‘A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, “Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here. Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?’ Jesus asked. The man replied, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Then Jesus said, ‘Yes, now go and do the same,’” Luke 10:30-37.
Neither of these stories are talking about “sharing a smile” or being polite or kind to others. They’re about stepping deeply into the needs of others and walking them through life’s harshest moments, being a resource for healing or a source of strength and encoouragement in life’s deepest valleys.
The story Jesus tells is given to motivate us to spend ourselves on loving and caring for others in need, because others won’t do it.