This friend has a knack for sayings – he is a proverb machine – and what he said is true. Find a person’s pain and heal it, and you have found a friend. Lately, I have tried to put this maxim into practice. It takes, however, a skill to recognize it – listening.
Recently, I was talking over dinner with a friend who works in the mission field. The day was great. We went to a local market, framed three closets, and toured a Christian school. After the day came dinner, and as night-life is a little scarce on the mission field we all gathered around the table and, get this….talked.
The conversation turned to business. We talked about the inner financial workings of the ministry. I am so humbled, he said, but it hurts me that we can only offer $_____ per month to the people who work with us. They have left their homes, country, and sacrificed to be here. I so wish we could do more. As he spoke, he hurt.
I will let you wonder what the amount is. But I think of where I have worked and what I have been paid. I think of the house I live in and the schools my kids attend. I think of the car I drive and the conveniences I know, and that the truth is both the missionary and I are engaged in the same work – spreading the gospel of Jesus. I have found this inequality disturbing…it hurts me.
Those building the Kingdom should have the prayer, expertise, funds, and assurance that the church has their back. We should see that their kids are educated, vacations are possible, and learning made available – not out of luxury but of love. Missionaries are family, they should be loved as our own.
What is guiding me are the words of my friend, and also the words of Jesus. He said,
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
In other words, Jesus came to heal pain. He listened for what hurt, and when asked, began to heal. He calls us to do the same. Listen to others and find what hurts, from there on your actions will not be your own – but the presence of Jesus moving through you.
(thank you for reading, if you found Jesus in this please share, friend, follow, & give)