While there are many words we can use to describe how healing happens in the church, if I were to pick one, it would be compassion. Nearly every time Jesus restored, touched, or taught in the Bible, it says that He had compassion for the people He was helping. In fact, this familiar word literally means to “suffer alongside.” The term passion, which is often used to describe the cross, comes from the french word for suffering, which is pati, and when you add the prefix co, it means to “suffer with.” Truth is, there’s great healing power in offering sympathy and tenderness to an emotionally-wounded neighbor, and since we live in a world that can’t seem to stop talking, we have a big impact when we resolve to be active and empathic listeners. The injured people in our lives need the comfort of our presence much more than they need fixing, because mending is for mechanical things like machines, not for humans. Eternal souls need healing, and as students of Jesus, we can share His soothing and restoring strength by providing a safe place for our friends and loved ones to unveil their hurts and share their hearts.
My friend, you are a minister of compassion. Commissioned by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, you have exactly what hurting people need. As you offer a listening ear, a tender touch, and an extended hand, your light shines brightly in a dark world, and you bring the love of your Savior to life. Don’t worry about having the perfect answer to every difficult question, simply be available with a heart of mercy, words of understanding, and a tone of tenderness. When you do, God will be in your midst, and He will use your care and concern to bring the hope of Heaven to earth, in His Name.