DayBreaks for 7/17/17: Getting Close Enough
From the DayBreaks archive, July 2007:
Preachers face some interesting dilemmas. It isn’t uncommon for us to visit the sick in the hospital. And as you know, hospitals are rife with all sorts of disease and infections. In some ways, it’s amazing that anyone comes out of a hospital alive. Recent stories about drug-resistant staph infections are scary, aren’t they? Yet, when someone is sick, you go, hoping and trusting that you won’t get infected. After all, you may have to get up in the pulpit the next day and preach!!! And, what if you’re too sick to be there? I know things would always work out. But it’s one of the crazy things that go through a minister’s head from time to time.
Of course, the closer you get to someone who is sick, the greater the chance of infection and the spread of disease. As I write this, my wife is winging her way to India where she’ll work at an orphanage for two weeks. She’s got anti-malaria pills to take every day while she’s there, other things to fight dengue fever, special spray to put on her clothes in advance (that will survive 6 washings!!) to hold the mosquitoes in abeyance, and other stuff to protect her from diseases. We Americans don’t have good immunity to numerous other diseases that are common in other parts of the world. Proximity to Indian mosquitoes, for example, certainly increases your risk of getting those diseases.
Proximity to other humans increases our chance of getting diseases they may have. Sneezing, coughing, vomiting. The tiny aerosols that spew from our mouths when we sneeze spread disease. Other diseases are spread though bodily fluids, including sweat from a fever. Getting close is dangerous.
How close should we get to others? In Luke chapter 5, Jesus heals a leper. Sometimes when Jesus healed people of disease or illness, he just spoke the word and the healing was accomplished! He could heal at a distance – we know that from the healing of the Roman centurion’s son. But in this case, Jesus specifically chose not to heal at a distance. He touched the leper.
John Ortberg put it well when he noted that “…only when you get close enough to catch their hurt will they be close enough to catch your love.” Jesus got plenty close to catch our hurt. He felt it in his own flesh. He experienced it in his own heart. And he got close enough to catch our disease. Instead, he healed our disease, discounting the risk, so we could catch his love.
Will we get close enough to others so we can feel and catch their hurt so we can give them His love?
PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus, for not being afraid to touch us. Thank you for being willing to feel our hurt. Thank you for the love you’ve given us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>