Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jesus and the Hurting

It sounds too shocking to be true, but according to the Associated Press, it really happened. 27-year-old LaShanda Callaway was stabbed to death at a convenience store in Wichita, Kansas, last June. Police investigators viewed the store's security camera video and discovered that as Callaway lay dying, five different people stepped over her on their way down the store aisles. Only one stopped--just long enough to take a picture of her with his cell phone. Said Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams, "This is appalling. What happened to our respect for life?"

What happened, indeed? While we probably all think that we would have responded differently had we been in that convenience store, I wonder how often we "step over" those who are hurting all around us. Of course, we have our excuses. After all, we're busy. We don't know what to do. We have problems of our own. But I think it's worth noting that when Jesus was here in the flesh, hurting people knew that they could go to him...including two profoundly suffering people in Mark 5:22-43, the subject of our sermon Sunday. And never, ever did Jesus ignore someone who was genuinely in need.

If we're really following Jesus, we will show compassion to those who are hurting. We may not have the power to heal them...but we know the one who does.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's most difficult to notice the hurting closest to us, because it's easy to do "hit and run" acts of charity, because people "out there" aren't as visible, and thus, not a constant reminder that we need to be consistently helping. I think we're afraid of "getting something started, in case something comes up that we'd rather do."

I call this "tokenism" ministry.
True ministry is consistent.

I really think the BEST ministries are the quiet, long term ones that we don't "report" to our Sunday School class. You know, you do something one week that you really should be doing EVERY week, and immmediately report it to the class as though you did it all the time.

Jeff Berger said...

You are right...true ministry is consistent. Random acts of kindness may make us feel good about ourselves, but long-term servanthood is where the Spirit is able to get things done. Amen.