“Taking God’s assignment seriously means that I must learn to look at the world upside down, as Jesus did. Instead of seeking out people who stroke my ego, I find those whose egos need stroking; instead of important people with resources who can do me favors, I find people with few resources; instead of the strong, I look for the weak; instead of the healthy, the sick.” — Philip Yancey
When a child has a “boo-boo”, they run to mom. He or she feels immediate comfort when the Snoopy or Princess themed band aid is applied to their wound. For children, a band aid can seem to be a cure all. What they may not realize is that, in actuality, the real comfort they received was in the form of a Human Band Aid…the care, attention, nurturing and time that mom gave them in wrapping them up in her arms of love and wiping away the tears. In Scripture, we have a perfect example of a Human Band Aid – the Good Samaritan.
Luke 10: 33-35 (MSG): “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. 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. 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.’ ”
Let’s look closer at how amazing the Samaritan’s actions were. He put himself at risk because this was a very dangerous road. He interrupted his journey. He was inconvenienced. He used all his resources to provide shelter and care. He didn’t look the other way nor avoid an obvious need. He didn’t ask “What’s wrong?” or “How can I help?” He simply felt compassion and responded to an obvious need that he could see.
The key here is that he responded to what he saw. This couldn’t have happened if he had hurried by or crossed to the other side of the road. He took a ‘hands on’ approach. How many times in our everyday life do we become aware of an injured, hurting or struggling fellow traveler but move on past because of what it may require of us or how uncomfortable they may make us feel?
For the many who are hurting with emotional or mental anguish, they need someone to take the time to look beneath the surface and take action to bandage their wounds. They need someone who will love and care for them – a Human Band Aid. What kind of band aid are you? Are you one that doesn’t stick very well? Are you one that applies medication as well as protection? Are you one that continues to provide maximum coverage despite adverse conditions?
At the end of the parable we are told as that Good Samaritan showed mercy and displayed kindness that we are told to go and do the same.
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness…” ~ Col 3:12(NKJV)
Reflections on HUMAN BAND AID
May I just confess personally that it makes me uncomfortable to come face to face with pain? I mean, I’m glad to donate to the organization that helps starving children but I tend to turn away when the program is on television that shows their emaciated little bodies and big sad eyes. I feel like what little I can do won’t really make a difference and, if I stop to really look and acknowledge that they are hurting, then I feel like I have to do something about it. If I am honest, I do the same thing with people at church and those I pass in stores or at work as I go through my everyday life. I’m busy. I feel like I have more to do than I can possibly get done. How can I find the time (or energy) to fit in one more person or one more task? So maybe, if I just glance at them and don’t really look, then I can pretend to myself that I don’t have a responsibility to help…that there is nothing I can really do anyway. I cannot change their situation. I don’t have extra money if they have a financial problem. If they are grieving, I cannot bring back the loved one. If they have physical problems, I don’t have any medical knowledge.
Still, I feel that prompting from the Holy Spirit to see the pain in their eyes…to stop and acknowledge it…to stop and acknowledge them as a person, as someone who matters to God…and to me. If I pass them by, His Spirit still continues to knock at the door of my heart saying, “Did you see that? He is hurting. Go back and talk to him. Go back and listen to him. He needs someone…and I’ve chosen You to be that someone…that Human Band Aid.”
I’ve done it both ways. Sometimes I stop and go back and every single time I do, I am personally blessed. That’s not why I went back. I went back because I knew it was God’s voice prompting me to stop and be His ears, His voice, His hug for that person. Other times, I’ve squashed down the feeling of conviction and gone on with my tasks and To Do list but inevitably, when I do, their face haunts me for hours and sometimes even days. Because I know what it is like to be that person…the one who is hurting who can’t find the strength to let others know what is going on but desperately longs for someone to notice and stop to listen.
I may not be able to change their circumstances, but I can at the very least let them know that they matter …that the Father knows and sees and cares about what they are going through. And in the end, I have found that what we all want most is to know that someone cares.
Prayer for the hurting person:
Help them to hang onto You until help arrives. Help them to trust in You, in Your love, in all You have done in the past for them, in Your Word and the promises it contains. Give them hope that You will send someone to care and then keep prompting others to show Your love in a tangible and personal way.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer for the helper:
Help me not to be so self-centered. Help me not to dwell so much in my own world and to be so focused on my own goals and agendas that I drown out Your still small voice that calls me to be used in ways that are Far more important than anything on my To Do list. Help me to realize that You have a To Do list for me that has Eternal Impact and is needed much more than the minor accomplishments on my own list. Help me to exchange my To Do list for daily, hourly sensitivity to how You want to use me.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.