Wouldn’t it be crazy if when the ambulance pulled up at the hospital, you could be turned away if your wound was too gross? Say you cut yourself so bad the guts were showing, and you were in such great need, but when the emergency room doctors see your dilemma they wince, look at each other with ill-concealed looks of condescension, and say, “Ewww, that looks painful, but, uhhh, we don’t treat abrasions that look that disgusting. Sorry, you need to go elsewhere.”
How absurd to think that would ever happen. Hospitals are known as safe havens for the wounded and sick.
But imagine it did. Now you are bleeding, risking infection, probably in shock, and desperate for help.
“Hey! I need some help! I don’t know how long I’m going to last!”
You glance over at the Emergency Room doors, and they’re being locked from the inside, whispers and glances towards you behind hands over mouths. You’re stuck outside beyond help. Being rejected would cause a panic to allow ANYONE, no matter their experience, to treat your problem. Perhaps you would even risk your entire future for the hope that you could take wake up tomorrow morning alive.
It’s what every single hurting person has for a certain length of time.
The hope that someone somewhere will listen to the problem, fix what’s wrong, and extend the hand of grace.
What I’m seeing more and more of is the usually well meaning, even self proclaimed Christian, turning away from hurting desperate people. Disgusted by the sin, they turn their backs after lashing out in hypocritical anger, “Why would you have done THAT?!”
As if they had never done anything wrong.
“You did WHAT?!” The rage proceeds, fueled by personal disappointment.
“That sin is disgusting!”
I think of Jesus’ words. Let the one without any sin cast the first stone.
Oh, how we throw them. Throwing stones is what we’re good at. We cast them so fast and hard they almost hurt worse than the sin we allowed to hurt us in the first place.
Words are flung. Condescending glances, and gossiping tongues cut deep. Invitations are rescinded, and pews empty around that one for at least five body lengths. The fragile person’s hope begins to wane, and they might stop attending church altogether. That person’s name becomes a frisbee, tossed around in the name of I’m-only-telling-you-this-because-they-need-prayer, and landing back at the feet of the one spoken against. Usually with more atrocities added that were never committed at all.
Wake up Church!
We were meant to be a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. We’re not any better…not any more holy, not perfect by any stretch!
You’ve thought thoughts that should never have been. You’ve done things you wish could be undone.
When a person comes zooming into your life on a stretcher, sirens blaring, muster compassion. Pray for more love. If you don’t have it- ask for it! Remember where you came from, because you were there once or twice. You know how it feels. Are you willing to say, that because a few years have gone by since your rescue, that you’ve arrived at perfection?
When someone is hurting because of a choice they’ve made, and sinned against themselves and against God, but are broken, repentant, and emotionally bleeding on the table, who are you to turn them away?
Are you worried about getting dirty? It’s what Jesus died for, you know. The sins of mankind were ugly, but He waded in it. All of it was poured on Him. He took it all willingly, and now expects us to have a measure of grace that says, “Here, let me help you up, and dust you off.”
You may have never committed that particular offense, but many others you have. I have as well.
The Bible says “there is none righteous…”
If that hurting and rejected person doesn’t find grace within the safe haven of believers, and those who remember what it was like to be in that exact place, they will find grace elsewhere.
The world has arms wide open.
Misery loves company, and the ones neck-deep in sin will beckon for that poor brother or sister to come. Sometimes that poor soul will turn their back on God forever, wading into the muck and mire, and all because of a few hypocritical saints that don’t have love.
True love NEVER fails. The Bible says it. If you can look back at life experience, and tell me that statement isn’t true, I would tell you it’s not the Bible that’s incorrect, I’d tell you your love wasn’t enough.
We can’t love others unconditionally without the love of God.
Oh I can love my kids, my husband, nachos, my best friend, and vanilla ice cream. But if my kids are being naughty, my husband a jerk, the nachos are stale, my best friend out of town, and the ice cream is spoiled, I am not in the mood for any of it. If its inconvenient to us, we reject it for a time.
God’s love is unconditional. It loves when others don’t, it sees past the external, forgives the emotionally deficient, presses on to the spirit of a person inside. God’s love reaches in to the heart. It sees beyond all facades.
It never ever fails.
Hope. It’s what every single hurting person has for a certain length of time. The hope that someone somewhere will listen to the problem, fix what’s wrong, and extend the hand of grace. It’s a four letter word that reminds me to have my arms wide open.
Love though, is what’s absolutely necessary to give that person a reason to hope in God.
Ask Jesus today, to fill you with an exhausting supply of love for others. Then, when the ambulance shows up, and driving in they will, you can recognize the wound, and offer so much more than a judgmental glance.
To every single person in my life, and especially the fragile ones, you know who you are: I promise you that the wing of this particular hospital will always remain open. I love you. Hope in God.
His Love Never Fails.