A few weeks ago, my husband had an outpatient medical procedure done at a hospital. It was nothing serious, a simple health checkup that requires a few hours.
As I waited for him in the quiet hospital waiting room, a doctor came out and called to the only other person in my section of the room. As the woman and the doctor walked into a consultation room, the doctor began talking to this woman, and the news for her was grim.
I didn’t eavesdrop, but the waiting room was mostly deserted, very silent, and the walls in the consultation room were thin. I heard enough to know the woman’s husband had a procedure that didn’t go well. He was being admitted to the hospital where they would assess him and possibly move him to a larger facility that would be able to better care for him.
My heart went out to this woman. The results were hard. His procedure had been a failure because of what they found during the surgery. His chances didn’t sound promising.
When the woman came back out, I sat there praying for her. In that quiet room, she made a call to family, asking them to come. Her attempt at being strong in the face of this horrible turn of events amazed me. Yet, I heard the tears in her voice and the strain of the upcoming prognosis and decisions to be made.
As I sat there praying for her, she was on the other side of a divider. I felt the nudge of the Spirit and the request that I go talk to her. I am an introvert and don’t approach people, but when God asks, I try to listen and obey.
I moved to a chair catty-cornered from the woman’s and introduced myself. I explained that I’d heard the diagnosis for her husband wasn’t good, although I didn’t know details. I asked if she needed to talk.
Just that simple. Do you need to talk?
And she did. She told me about his health struggles and all that they’d gone through that day. She talked for long minutes and I listened. I had no wisdom concerning her husband’s health. What I had to offer her was comfort in the form of someone who cared.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” I Corinthians 13:1-3 (NKJV)
Approaching this woman and talking with her put me way out of my comfort zone, but I am reminded of the scripture above. It’s so easy to talk about God’s love with other Christians, it’s fun to dig into the Bible and see what God has to say, and I can always donate to help the poor. But, taking a step of faith, putting God’s love into practice in this way is what I’m meant to do. When God asks, I should always be ready to step out in faith and love.
I sat there with this hurting woman until she’d finished talking. I offered to pray for her. Then I left her to make more calls to her family. She sounded stronger as she made those calls and I like to think that the reminder of Who God is and that He cares helped. Extending God’s love is a part of who we should be, even if it means doing something uncomfortable. The blessing I received that day far surpassed the momentary discomfort.
I encourage you to take a step of faith and reach out to someone in love. Pray about it. I’m sure God has a person in mind that you would be able to bless.
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV)