Yesterday, I saw the self-inflicted scars on a friend’s arm. I looked at the red marks and saw feeble attempts to let a much deeper pain seep out.
Yesterday, I received a phone call that a friend, who thought her battle with cancer was over, had learned that the vicious disease had ruthlessly invaded more of her body.
Yesterday, I discovered that a friend who has been drifting away from God has floated into some deceptive waters and is buying into a lot of lies about who he really is.
This world is a broken, hurting place, and sometimes that pain is too much to bear. It’s overwhelming.
Everything within me wants to ignore it. I want to focus just on my life and my world. I can’t deal with what the people around me are going through. I want to run the other way. I want to be left alone and let everyone else fend for themselves. Their lives are too messy and my answers don’t seem to make the hurt go away.
But then I look at Jesus.
When He saw hurt and pain, He didn’t run away—He chose to run to it. He chose to come into this messy, aching world. To hurt as we hurt. To feel as we feel.
Instead of running away from the hurt and pain of others, He came to it. Embraced it. Touched it. Healed it.
I ache right now. I want to make everything better. I want my friend who is cutting herself to realize that there is Someone who wants to take her pain and heal it. I want my friend who has cancer to be healed. I want my friend who is confused to see the man God sees when He looks at him.
I want the world to quit hurting. Not because I’m some great humanitarian, but because it hurts me to see others hurting. Some of that I have to give to Jesus. But some of that is going to stay because my heart is connected with God’s heart. When we hurt, He hurts.
So if I’m to really follow Jesus’ lead, then I will hurt too. I will reach out, touch the pain, and point my friend and others who hurt to the One who does heal. It sounds simple, even trite to say that. But sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world to do.
But there’s hope for a hurting world, and His name isn’t Tim. It’s Jesus.
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