This is an excerpt from chapter two of my book, Sick and Significant.
“Biblically, the desire of God’s heart is that folks who can be described as bruised reeds and faintly burning wicks (the imagery used in Isaiah 42:1-3) are to be remembered and lovingly cared for. Even though they may often be absent from church functions, they should not be falling off the radar screen of their congregation’s care. Sick and afflicted Christians are a part of our family, and, “beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).
You see, a battered blade of grass still reflects the majesty of its creative design. It still drinks and benefits from a plentiful water supply. It still has hope of being fully restored through the benefit of proper care and an intake of life-giving nutrition. This is why people who are bruised reeds are objects of the Lord’s infinite compassion. They still have life. They still have a role to fulfill in God’s sovereign plan. So, our God of mercy is passionate about not allowing the weight of their troubles to break them. And this is why, as fellow members of the body of Christ, it is imperative we help bear their burdens.
Note as well that faintly burning wicks still provide a measure of light. They are not blackened, useless pieces of cord. Sure, they may not be able to fully illuminate a large room, but they can be a glow of hope-giving inspiration to those in the dark corners of life. Given the right conditions, a single candle can be seen from hundreds of feet away. Suffering ones that flicker in the sea of their turmoil are very precious to Jesus—and can still be instruments of the Lord’s life and comfort. So, our Savior will not snuff them out. Weak and smoky as they may be, their lives still matter, and therefore we, the people of God, must do all we can to not allow their light to be quenched.”
May we be freshly motivated this month to pour out God’s love on those we know who are suffering.