Tuesday, May 7
Cultivating Caring Community: Organic Caring
“Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” (Mark 2:3-5)
While some of our Christian caring is organized by the church (being asked to bring a meal to someone who has just had surgery), most of our caring is to be organic and spontaneous: We sense a need and we meet it. The friends of the paralyzed man dropped what they were doing and picked up a corner of his mat.
Organic caring requires two things:
1) A sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Because we are naturally selfish, prioritizing our own needs over the needs of others, we desperately need the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to really see the people around us. The Holy Spirit may put a good, empathetic question in your heart to ask a person who needs to be heard or a dollar amount in your mind to come alongside a family about to lose their home. He doesn’t leave us to our own devices when it comes to caring for others—The Holy Spirit is eager to guide and instruct us if we allow Him to.
2) Margin. We WILL miss opportunities to care for others if we are too busy. Organic caring requires margin—the ability to be interrupted by the needs of others. Imagine if the paralyzed man’s friends, when asked to grab a corned of his mat, said, “Sorry, I’m too busy!” Cultivating caring community requires us to reject busyness so that we have margin to spontaneously help others.
Action: Brainstorm a list of examples of organic caring.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, would you guide me toward the people in my life that need care? Would you show me their needs and how I might meet one? Would you make me sensitive to your voice? Would you help me to reject busyness in order to have margin to love others? Thank you for being my comforter and counselor. Amen.