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Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? 2 CORINTHIANS 11:29
In a famous scene from the film Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara searches for a doctor to help her sister-in-law, Melanie, who is about to give birth. As she weaves through stretcher after stretcher of bleeding, dying soldiers, the camera pans back to reveal a swath of misery—a huge square teeming with desperate, injured soldiers lying in the sun.
Finally she finds her friend Dr. Mead, who is exhausted from facing an endless parade of need and hopelessness. “Are you crazy?” he tells Scarlett. “I can’t leave these men for a baby. They’re dying. . . . Look at them, bleeding to death in front of my eyes. No chloroform, no bandages, nothing! Nothing to even ease their pain.”
That scene reminds me of the day Dr. Robert Lewis, my friend and former pastor, made the startling statement that the church staff was spending more time dealing with preventing divorce, comforting those going through a divorce and helping people recover from a divorce than with all other spiritual needs and issues combined. The consequences of this “war” were littered from one end of the church to the other—marriages shot through with deception, adultery, distrust, financial woes, and bitterness. But what could our paid ministers do among so many?
October is Pastor’s Appreciation Month, and you may not be formally trained as a counselor. You may not know the textbook definition for some of the crises people are dealing with. But what could you do to step in and serve your pastors, to relieve them of some of the weight and show some of the same “intense concern” that the apostle Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 11:29?
Rather than asking our pastors to do more, we need to come alongside and get involved. And not worry about getting a little blood on our hands.
Are you aware of one couple nearby who may be having some trouble? How could you help them?
Pray for your pastor, and ask God to show you the people He’s already arranged for you to minister to.