As the saying goes, “hurt people hurt people.” People are generally responders. We treat others the way we feel treated. If we feel loved, we love back. If we feel hurt we hurt back. People who have been injured by others typically propagate the same behavior.
But what do hurt people need to do to experience healing?
Hurt people need to experience love to be transformed. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is like the first… love others. We love God because he first loved us. We begin to love others when we feel loved by God.
We are called as followers of Jesus to express his compassion. Just as Jesus was the express image of God on planet earth when he lived among us, now we are to be the embodiment of his compassion, which is why we are called, the body of Christ.
What hurt people need is to experience God’s love then to give it. Healing has several phrases but the power to heal is eventually found in the giving of love to others. This week, we had a real life example of this principle. A friend of mine has been volunteering in his community at a men’s discipleship home. It’s for men who have are broken and hurting from addictions. This week he brought four of the men to the mission to check out others who are in need of healing on skid row.
They joined us for our Tuesday evening chapel service then we took a tour of the mission. Along the way we took time to meet and greet guests who were at the mission to find healing. We heard their stories and the guys prayed for the mission residents.
Afterward we went on the roof overlooking the bright lights of the L.A. skyline and prayed for the hurting people of skid row and the city of Los Angeles. Then we walked around the neighborhood to meet the neighbors.
God used the four men to minister to people on the streets through some great conversations. One such conversation was with a lady named Pamela. She is a Christian and struggling with cancer treatments that currently are not working. We had a lengthy conversation then the guys prayed for her and we had made a new friend.
The take away for the men who came to check out skid row was that people need relationships to heal spiritually and emotionally. They also sensed what we are talking about here… that hurt people who are in the healing process need to not only get love, but also to give it away. When they left late that night they had healed a little more themselves because they had given away what they have been receiving.
Do you know a marginalized person by name? If you’d like a unique opportunity to express the compassion of Jesus to those who need it most I want to invite you to come to the mission and meet some of these people who would love to meet you.
If Los Angeles is not an option, I’m sure there are marginalized people who live near you. They hang out at the beach, in parks, and at senior centers. They serve us meals at restaurants and they wash our cars. They hang out on street corners with cardboard signs. They are all around us but when we are busy focusing on our stuff they tend to be invisible.
Let me encourage you and challenge you… if you have experienced the love of Jesus, you have “healing power”… find someone this week who needs it most… and give it away.