Into Her Pain
"A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man's condition, his heart went out to him." Luke 10:33 (MSG)
We inhaled the muggy evening shrouding the back porch, too warm to even rock in our chairs. Not a slight breeze of mercy murmured. The quiet moment urged me to be still. Listen. Administer mercy.
Knees kissed her chin, her eyes pleaded, "I need someone to crawl in my pit with me. Someone to help me out of the pain."
A lump in my throat responded to her grief. Circumstances had beaten her down; left her half-dead on the side of life's road. Uncomfortable empathy warned, press the escape hatch quick, before awkward mercy takes over. Obvious quick fixes lunged at me:
Time heals all wounds.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
God's timing is perfect.
To everything there is a season.
But when he saw the man lying there,
he crossed to the other side of the road
and passed him by. (Luke 10:31b NLT)
I wouldn't disrespect her loss with a walk-by. Wouldn't slap thoughtless words into her pit as I stepped over her pain. A word aptly withheld is often better than a word care-lessly tossed. Be still. Listen. Administer mercy.
A Samaritan traveling the road came on him.
When he saw the man's condition,
his heart went out to him. (vs. 33 MSG)
I try not to deal in slick mercy if possible. You see, slick things don't stick. Instead I plastered a cast of mercy on her broken heart. Comfort doesn't come in clichés. It is delivered in a still presence, a listening ear, a merciful hand. Comfort ushers in healing when the truth of the Word is coupled with merciful deeds. Into the pit we're called. Into silence we wade. Be still. Listen. Administer mercy.
He gave him first aid,
disinfecting and bandaging his wounds.
Then he lifted him onto his donkey,
led him to an inn,
and made him comfortable. (vs. 34 MSG)
The Good Samaritan did more than throw a nickel, blanket or splash of water. He leaned into, learned of the need, loved the broken with what resources he had. He was the first in a line of others who attended to the man, aided him in getting up and getting well. The Good Samaritan stopped, stooped and secured additional help.
That humid night with my friend, her journey of healing began. I didn't have much, but a meager offering from a willing heart: it is capable of great things. My arm lingered still, touching hers—a reminder life begets life. I listened to her hope levels, refilling when low. Administered merciful possibilities of trusting again, believing once more. Others counseled, covered in prayer, spoke truths. We tucked arms under my friend, lifted her up and out. Onward to healing.
In the morning he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper, saying,
'Take good care of him. If it costs any more,
put it on my bill—
I'll pay you on my way back.' (vs. 35 MSG)
Years later, my heart cracked open, pieces clattered out like marbles from a jar. Flailing about, I slipped headlong into my pain.
My friend crossed the road to me, leaving convenient clichés of "chin up" and "better to have loved and lost" on the other side. Toward my pain she leaned; still, listening, administering mercy. One temperate morning on the same back porch, the breeze stirred slightly. The only thing between us, two mugs of coffee.
"You'll be whole again, you'll heal. Once more you'll believe He's always been good; has plans, a future; never left you."
With a wink my friend glimmered, "Someone once told me that and she was right. I believe again; I trust." Mercy nodded at her and together, they wrapped their arms on either side of me. Ascending out of my pain. Time to leave; time to heal.
"Now which of these three would you say
was a neighbor to the man who was
attacked by bandits?" Jesus asked.
The man replied, "The one who
showed him mercy."
Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go
and do the same."(vv. 36-37 NLT)
Dear Lord, thank You for Your healing mercy. Thank You for sharing in my pain when You died on the cross. Please give me eyes to see those hurting around me, and teach me to be still, to listen, and to administer mercy. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Pray and ask the Lord if there is someone in your life He is calling you to help out of their pain. With whom can you be still, listen, administer mercy?
Ask for words and deeds of mercy to show that person, rather than a quick pat on the back or cliché.
Are there pits in which I've stayed, not allowing in truth, help or healing? What do I fear will happen if I am still, if I listen and if I accept mercy administered by others?
Micah 6:8, "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (ESV)
Galatians 6:2, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (ESV)
1 John 3:18, "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." (NLT)
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