Caring for others is at the heart of the New Testament teachings of Jesus. If we read the life story of Jesus he was always interacting and caring for others. In the book of John we see him “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” John 13:34-35. To care could mean to notice someone or a cause that needs attention, exploring how to engage and then doing it; love has a voice and is active.
The ability to care is a gift or an art that is developed often through life’s losses or painful situations that we have wrestled with. As we have experiences in life we can engage with others who pass through what one of the Beatles song refers to as “the long and winding road” that leads into eternity. What matters on this road that we all travel is not what we achieve or gain but rather how many people’s lives we touch with kindness as we offer the gift we are holding; the ability to care.
I was once asked by someone who was probing me about the reasons for addiction in a person’s life “what is it you want more of?” If we can answer that question then we may have identified the root of our addictive tendencies. As I wrestled for truth in my heart to answer the question I found myself replying, “to be loved.”
To be loved is a natural inbuilt desire and basic human need. So the art of caring and the need to be loved are a match one meets the other and brings healing to the soul. This is the ministry that Jesus was modelling for us as he walked the earth as we read his story he demonstrated love by caring. What I have learned over many years of leading a mercy ministry that reaches out and touches lives is this. As we care for others we are ourselves find healing and meaning in this life.
If we really desire to walk and follow Jesus then we can begin to care deeply for others as he did. We must remember that to be authentic love must have a voice and be active, which is so much more than a feeling.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”