BACK WHEN I WAS A KID I got a bellyache that wouldn't go away. It hurt so bad I couldn't stand up straight. Or sit down without increasing the pain.
BACK WHEN I WAS A KID I got a bellyache that wouldn't go away. It hurt so
bad I couldn't stand up straight. Or sit down without increasing the pain.
Finally, my folks hauled me over to a big house in West Houston where a
doctor lived. He had turned the back section into his office and clinic. It
was a hot, muggy afternoon. I was scared.
The doc decided I needed a quick exam—but he really felt I was suffering
from an attack of appendicitis. Looking back, however, I really believe
that "quick exam" hurt worse than surgery the next day. The guy was rough,
I mean really rough. He poked and thumped and pulled and pushed at me like
I was Raggedy Andy. I was already in pain, but when ole Dr. Vice Grip was
through, I felt like I had been his personal punching bag.
Looking back all those years, I've learned a valuable lesson: when people
are hurting, they need more than an accurate analysis and specific
diagnosis. More than professional advice. More, much more, than a stern,
firm turn of a verbal wrench that cinches everything down tight.
Attorneys, doctors, counselors, physical therapists, dentists, fellow
ministers, nurses, teachers, mentors, and parents, hear ye, hear ye!
Fragile and delicate are the feelings of most who seek our help.
Would it help if you could see that someone like Paul embraced the value of
tenderness? He did.
Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know. And God
is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get
your money! As for human praise, we have never sought it from you or anyone
As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you,
but instead we were like children among you. Or we were like a mother
feeding and caring for her own children.
1 THESSALONIANS 2:5–7
We ought to move toward and respond to people in need with tenderness and
mercy, not judgment and annoyance. Some day we shall all at one time or
another be on the receiving end.