“When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida…”
When James was little, and he’d get hurt, his dad always told him to “tough it out” and “real men don’t cry.” This kind of advice continued as James grew up and began playing football. He played through minor injuries frequently, trying desperately to show his father how strong he was.
During one game, he was tackled by a member of an opposing team. The tackle chipped one of the vertebrae and the fragment of bone sliced his spinal column. He was instantly paralyzed.
As the days passed, James faced each one stoically. He didn’t know how to process what had happened. Instead, he spent his time trying to sleep. When he slept, he didn’t have to think about his injury.
James’ grandmother had asked her church family to pray for James and her pastor made a trip to see the younger man. As they talked, James asked about God. “How does God feel when I get hurt? Is He like my dad and disappointed when I’m in pain?”
The pastor shared the story of Jesus in Luke 9.
“…but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.” (Luke 9:11)
“Jesus welcomes the injured and sick,” the pastor said. “He speaks kindness over them and provides healing where needed. James, God doesn’t expect you to man up or get over this. He feels great compassion for you.”
God, help me to remember that You welcome the sick, the broken, and the bruised. Let me follow Your example and welcome those who need Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.