1 John 3:17-18 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us know love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
A few years ago my husband and I worked with Samaritans Purse in the Douglasville area back when we had a September flood. During a prayer at the home of a flood victim, a worker said three words I’ve never forgotten “skin on Jesus”. Love and Care brings reality to Jesus, it’s God working thru us that makes that happen and a world that needs Jesus, is watching.
Love is what causes us to Care. The dictionary gives the definition for care as “feel concern or interest” or “look after and provide the needs of” and Jesus said our love for one another is an example of Him. Probably the most insightful words on care in all of scripture is the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. He didn’t ask that question “how are you” and have no real interest behind the question , he didn’t walk on by, he DID something.
What does “care” look like? What doesn’t it look like?
Based on the definition, care requires us to do something dependent on the situation. Here in the south, the first way we usually show care is to provide meals, we are great at this one. Maybe care is a card, could be it’s a text or phone call to check in and let that someone know you are interested in caring about them, maybe it’s an offer to do laundry, maybe it’s flowers, could be a gift card to ease a financial burden, maybe it’s yard work, maybe it’s baby or child sitting, and so on. You can make your own list and ideas because you have been gifted by God with your own ways to Care. Care has the suggestion of relationship. Being interested in those with needs is hard because so much of our own life can be overwhelming to us and take so much of our time. We will have to quit thinking of “us” and yes that will take work. And a biggie about care is…. if you find yourself in the situation of needing “care”, you have got to be vulnerable and open to letting people put Care in action. This part is just as important because it shows the world the command of Jesus for loving one another. It’s on the giver and the receiver to both do their parts. John 14:15-16: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever”. This is the best part of caring… we have a Helper that if we ask, will show us who we need to be caring for and will put the ideas in our heads of how to help. We must just open up our minds and our eyeballs.
What does Care NOT look like. It’s probably not real hard to answer this one. 1 Corinthians 13:1, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal”. Care isn’t walking on by those in need. Care isn’t ignoring the situation that’s right in front of you. Care isn’t using the words, “I’m praying for you” as a way to do nothing. Yes, please pray but do not use these words or response as a way to make you feel like you are “doing” something, the world is watching and they NEED to see we are actually caring, by our actions.