How much does a word or a touch mean to the distressed? When Jesus walked the hills and streets of Palestine, he changed lives by a word, some bread or a touch on his cloak. Jesus then taught that God, the Father, notices and blesses each time someone invites a homeless stranger in, shares his coat or gives a thirsty man a drink.
Last week in Indiana tornados ripped through small towns like Marysville and Henryville. People, including my daughter, rushed down to deliver blankets, bottles of water and start picking up the mess. Katrina learned to respect that community’s response. She also learned that the real test of endurance and courage begins in April when their plight drops out of the news and the streams of volunteers leave.
Both my sister-in-law and my friend Slava heard the dreaded word “cancer” last month. Maureen’s doctor assured her the tumor wasn’t serious. Her surgery confirmed it. Slava heard from his doctor, “90% chance of malignancy.” After his affected kidney was removed, post-op tests said Slava was “lucky.” Slava’s brother disagreed. He gave God the credit on behalf of all those who prayed that Slava’s tumor would prove benign.
All of us when we are overwhelming by need, learn to appreciate our neighbors who follow Jesus’ example and make a sacrifice to reach out to us in love.