In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus tells a story about a man who had been robbed, stripped of his clothes, and left for dead on the side of the road. When two religious men saw him, they crossed the street to avoid him. But then another man walked by and noticed the wounded man. Instead of moving away from him, he moved towards him. He bent down and bandaged the man’s wounds, took him to an inn, and paid for the care he needed to get well.
This isn’t just a story Jesus told; it’s the story He lived — a story that paints a picture of who He is. Filled with compassion and concern, Jesus always moved closer, not just with words but with action. Compelled by love that wants to help when we’re hurting, Scripture promises that He is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
I needed to be reminded of these truths recently when our family was on a long-awaited vacation and my husband, J.J., got stung by a stingray during our second day there.
I was on the porch when I saw my twenty-three-year old son running towards the house yelling for me to “get something to stop the bleeding from dad’s leg!” We didn’t know what had happened, only that something large and very sharp had pierced J.J.’s ankle, near his Achilles tendon, and he was in horrific pain.
I ran back inside to find towels to wrap around his wound and started praying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”
All of us went into panic mode, insisting we needed to call 911. We needed to elevate and bandage his foot. We needed to wrap something tightly around his leg in case it was poisonous, to stop it from spreading into his bloodstream.
I called 911 and gave my phone to J.J. to tell the dispatcher what had happened. While he was talking and I was praying, I felt compelled to go see if maybe someone staying in the house next to us was a doctor or a nurse. I walked over and knocked on the door, and sure enough one of the moms was a pediatric nurse. She immediately grabbed her large first aid kit and came with me to our place.
Her medical background brought assurance and her presence brought calm to our state of panic as she took J.J.s blood pressure and bandaged his leg. She stayed with us until an ambulance and emergency medical team arrived.
A few minutes later, a woman I didn’t recognize walked up to the porch and introduced herself as Deb, our rental home’s property manager. She “happened to be nearby” and saw the ambulance. She stayed until we left in the ambulance, to make sure J.J. was okay and to make sure I knew how to get in touch with her so she could arrange transportation back from the hospital late that night. I had no idea how big of a provision Deb would be in the hours that followed.
We were staying on an island in South Carolina that’s only accessible by ferry. The nearest hospital was on a larger island thirty minutes away. It would take two ambulances and a ferry to get us to the ER, where we would wait for hours to get X-rays and antibiotics to prevent infection.
While in the ER, we met a family with a little boy who had an infected appendix. J.J. offered his spot on the ER waiting list to help him be seen sooner. Several hours later, while I was trying to get an Uber ride back to the dock in time to catch the last ferry at 11:30pm, that little boy’s grandpa heard me talking and offered to give us a ride.
Because of his kindness, we got to the dock just in time and made it back to the island by midnight where Deb met us in a golf cart and took us back to our beach house rental.
When the trauma of J.J.’s injury happened, we were both in shock and scared. As time passed, we grew frustrated and upset, knowing he would be in pain for days and our desperately needed vacation may be ruined.
We were hoping to recover from two months of extremely difficult circumstances, one after another in the weeks leading up to our vacation. Our whole family was together for the first time in months. We needed downtime, laughter, and fun. Now another injury and disruption threatened to highjack all we had hoped for.
Feeling a little abandoned by God, we questioned why all of this was happening. But in the midst of our disappointments and painful moments, Jesus showed up in so many ways, to take care of us again and again. Each person who met us in our need reminded me of how Jesus will never just walk by us. He promises to come to our side, to bend low, to provide for us, and be with us.
When trials threaten our peace or our responsibilities, jobs, and failures discourage us, instead of being overwhelmed by our lives, God wants us to be overwhelmed by His love. His love is present and powerful, and no amount of stress or pain, struggle, or circumstance can keep us from Him.
With outstretched hands, Jesus came to bind up our wounds and care for us. No matter what we need, He moves in close, offering healing for our hurts, comfort for our concerns, and rest for our weary souls.Leave a Comment