Read: 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7
Reflect: Putting on shoes in our house can be a tedious process from time to time. Getting the two-year-old into said shoes can be downright frustrating. So, you may understand my general lack of response a few nights ago when I was attempting to push the toddler’s foot into his right boot. After finally getting it on he stood up and said, “Shoe hurts!” To which I (unsympathetically) said, “You’re fine. We need to go.” We left the house for an evening of errands and dinner out at a restaurant. He stopped complaining about his shoe and we all moved on. Until we came home.
Upon arriving home, I found his shoe discarded off to the side and a lone sock laying in the middle of the living room. The sock was covered in a mysterious purple substance. I picked up the shoe and glanced inside. Purple. Everywhere. There was purple squashed the whole way up to his toes. There was purple up the sides of the shoe. There was purple oozing into every crack and crevice that boot had. Suddenly I realized where the entire container of missing purple Play-doh had been all day. His shoe had actually hurt. He had been standing on a mass of purple Play-doh – for an entire evening. I had ignored his hurt.
People do this to each other all the time. We assume others are fine. We often unintentionally (and even intentionally) ignore each other’s hurts so that we don’t have to take up our own time or have a hard conversation or deal with the uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s easier to pretend there is no Play-doh in the shoe – no mess to clean up – nothing to deal with. But just because it seems easier to ignore the hurts around us, it doesn’t make it right.
Christ did not ignore the hurts. He did not brush aside those who came to him in pain. Our God is a God of Compassion. A God of Comfort. Life is not going to come without suffering but we serve a God who loves us with compassion, who opens His arms to us in comfort. He is not a God who will say, “You’re fine. I need to go.” when we complain to Him about the Play-doh in our shoes.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (1. Cor. 3-4)
Apply: Who around you is hurting? Let us show them the love that Christ exemplifies and meet them in their hurt. How can you help to remove the Play-doh from their life? And if it is you – if you are the one walking around with Play-doh in your shoes? Then take it to Christ. Give Him your hurts and in return receive His comfort.