Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (NLT)
Many stories have been repeated about how some individuals have been attacked and wounded because others who may have helped have refused to get involved. We want to stay at a safe distance. Understandable, but when it comes to living in Christian community it is not an option.
Jesus didn’t stay safe in heaven when he saw we needed help. He got his hands dirty. He took risks, he bore the cost. And so do any of us when we try to enter into other people’s lives and seek to offer consolation or support. We are to heed these wise words of Henri Nouwen:
Who can save a child from a burning house without taking the risk of being hurt by the flames? Who can listen to a story of loneliness and despair without taking the risk of experiencing similar pains? Who can take away suffering without entering it?
One of the big mistakes we make when seeking to help others is to think that others can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there. Perhaps we ought to recognise that the best Christian ministry is carried out by the ‘weak’ rather than the ‘strong’.