Third, comfort the hurting.
Jesus wept as he approached the tomb of Lazarus. I’ve often wondered why he was weeping as recorded in John 11:35, “Jesus wept.”
Jesus knew that he would soon raise Lazarus back to life; so, why was he weeping? Eventually, I realized that the reason Jesus was weeping was because he saw the family and friends grieving with pain and sorrow. He brought tremendous comfort to everyone the moment that Lazarus stepped out of that tomb.
“Therefore, many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him” (John 11:45).
When you see someone hurting, put your arm around them and let them know how sorry you are for what they are going through.
I know what to do when I see hurt. I comfort it.
Finally, Jesus said, “The fields are ripe and ready for harvest” (John 4:35-38).
Let me show you what fishing looks like. It looks like accepting the rejected, supporting the struggling, and comforting the hurting.
Anthony Campolo shared the story of a minister friend who is the associate pastor of a large Presbyterian church in California.
She loved to go to Nordstrom’s department store during the Christmas season. She could not afford to buy much of anything there because of the prices, but she loved the decorations and the music played throughout the store.
On one visit she was on the top floor looking at some or the finest dresses in the world when the elevator opened and out stepped a bag lady. Her clothes were dirty and her stockings were rolled down to her ankles. She stood there with a gym bag in her right hand, obviously out of place—she seemed not about to buy anything. The dresses cost thousands of dollars.
Campolo’s minister friend said that she expected some security person to come and usher the bag lady out of the store. But, instead, a stately saleswoman approached her and said, “May I help you, madam?”
“Yeah, I want to buy a dress.”
“What kind of dress?”
“A party dress,” the bag lady answered.
“You’ve come to the right place,” said the saleswoman. “Follow me, we have some of the finest party dresses in the world.”
The sales lady spent 15-20 minutes matching dresses with the woman’s skin color and eye color. After selecting three dresses which seemed most appropriate, she led her into the dressing room.
The bag lady tried on all three dresses and then said, “I think I have changed my mind, I don’t think I want to buy a dress today!”
“That’s OK,” said the sales lady gently. “But, here is my card. Should you come back to Nordstrom’s Department Store, I do hope you will ask for me. I would consider it a privilege to wait on you again.”
Of course, this is a perfect illustration of what Jesus would do, if Jesus were a saleswoman in Nordstrom’s.
Well, I hope that my thoughts are helpful to you.
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