A Caring Life—Thursday’s Thoughts

I saw Mike at the back of the sanctuary and pushed through my church family to greet him. He looked ill.

“Hey, Mike. How was the Nigeria trip?” Mike is involved with an international college ministry that plants churches in other countries.

He paused before speaking. “The first part of the trip went well. It was a great blessing.” His gaze shifted as if he were struggling with words. “The second half of the trip was sobering. A few of us remained and visited believers in a more remote, dangerous area. When we arrived, huts still smoldered. Islamic extremists had been there only hours before. They’d set the homes on fire, and then when precious believers ran outside, they were either shot or injured with machetes.”

This was not your typical Sunday after-church conversation.

“Seven Christians died. Many were wounded. We visited two children in the hospital, which looked more like a hut with dirt floors. A 12-year-old girl was shot in her left leg.”

He crossed his arms, as tears welled in his eyes. “We share in the sufferings of these brothers and sisters in Christ! Like I said, it is sobering.”

I went home to football and fried chicken—they suffered in the smoldering remains of their homes. It was hard for me to imagine from my American, middle-class, worldview.

Do I really suffer with them? The apostle Paul speaks of this in I Corinthians 12: 26-27, “And if one member suffers all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.”

It seems to me that as believers, we are all caregivers. We care by serving where God has placed us—serving our family and those in our local church body. We serve by caring for those who are part of the body of Christ who hurt all over the world. We care by sending His representatives to them. We care by going ourselves, or like I did this morning and will continue to do all day—praying for them. We can all do that.

Christ’s life was a life of compassion. A caring life. That’s the kind of life I want to lead.

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