March 27, 2023
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If the firstborn in a family is a girl, the younger children often end up with a bonus feature; they get two mothers instead of one! Big sisters are often happy to be another mother for her younger siblings, whether they're happy about it or not! But the instinctive motherly concern of a big sister came out loud and clear. It was in our three-year-old granddaughter some years ago. She had gotten a brand new baby brother whose life was pretty much eating and sleeping; mostly sleeping...until he needed something. And some friends were visiting our son and daughter-in-law, and there was a lot of talking and laughing going on. Suddenly, our little granddaughter said, "Shhhh. Shhhh, hear my brother crying." He was. And she was the only one who heard it.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to Make the World a Little Less Lonely."
How our world needs people with their ears tuned to those who need help and attention! You and I who belong to Jesus Christ need to be that person in our personal world. The one who says, "I hear my brother crying." Unfortunately, so many of us are so busy and so preoccupied with our own agenda-so self-absorbed-we run right by many people who are crying, at least inside.
The life of Jesus leaves us an unmistakable example of living with your "need-ometer" always on, looking for the needs around us. In Luke 18, beginning with verse 35, our word for today from the Word of God, the Bible says: "As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging (of course, he's used to being ignored, no doubt). When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, 'Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.' He called out, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'" I love these next two words. "Jesus stopped." For the need that no one else had time for. For the man everyone else treated like a nuisance, but not Jesus. He hears a brother crying and He stops, and He heals that man.
When He's surrounded by a crushing crowd, Jesus stops to meet the need of one woman who, in desperate faith, has touched the hem of His robe. With hundreds pushing on Him, He responds to one woman who needed Him. Even on the cross, when His own agony gave Him every reason to just be thinking about His own need, Jesus responds to the need of His mother, His friend John, and the thief on the cross next to Him.
If you're going to follow Jesus, if you're going to be like Jesus, you can't be so busy that you can't stop for someone in need. That need might be physical, financial or emotional. It may surface through an email you get, or a letter, a text, a call, or just by the Holy Spirit laying someone on your heart that He knows needs you. Don't shrug that off. Don't just keep running your marathon. Do what your Savior did. Stop for that person who needs help or attention, who needs a hug, a prayer, some praise, some encouragement. While others are walking by or walking away, you be the one who walks in. Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."
Often the key to being the conduit for Jesus' love is what I call the second question. Everybody asks the first question, "How are you doing?" And we robotically answer, "Fine." But the second question asks, "Really?" You'll be amazed how that simple demonstration that you really care about how they're doing will often open up a heart-cry that's been buried just beneath the surface. And you get to experience the love of Jesus reaching into their life through you. And remember, the greatest gift you can give that person is to pray with them right there; asking God to show you how to pray for a need that He fully understands. It's nice to let them know you'll pray for them. It's powerful to pray with them.
So in the midst of the clamor, in the midst of all the noise of all you have to do, keep your ears tuned to hear the needs around you at home, at work, at school, as you run your errands. So many people are crying, unheard and unhelped. Be the one who hears your brother or sister crying.