I believe that when the church is fulfilling its true purpose, it is like a hospital.
I can’t even count the number of times that a friend has told me she felt judged by the church. I myself went through an extremely difficult time with my family. Instead of helping us through our problems, many church members pushed us away.
The only thing that kept me from not leaving the church was the fact that I knew the way my church was acting did not reflect the nature of my God. That seems pretty ironic. The first part of the word “Christian” is “Christ,” so we should aim to act like Christ. When we behave the opposite of Jesus, we paint a faulty picture of God.
While some church members refused to let the “sick” into the “hospital,” I can distinctly remember the true Christians who “nursed my family back to health.” They did not push us away, they listened to us.
I will never forget one “nurse” who greatly impacted me. My music teacher noticed that I was feeling down one day. When no one was in the hallway, she came up to me with tears in her eyes. She simply gave me a comforting hug. She did not have to say anything. That hug said more to me than any words she could have spoken.
My music teacher accurately conveyed the Healer to me. She healed me as Christ would have done. God will never refuse to let the sick into the hospital. Instead He is most committed to healing those who are wounded the worst.
One story Bible story that hits home for me as I think about the way church members should treat each other is the story of when Mary Magdalene was caught in adultery. Jesus did not stone her, he helped her. He cared for her well-being, then told her to leave her life of sin. Mary did not stop sinning because she had to, but because she wanted to. She loved Him. Jesus deep care for her is what “cured” her from her sin.
Through the ups and downs of my church experience, I’ve thought about how the church treats outcasts. What am I personally going to do as a result of my belief? Am I going to just sit and complain about the way others have mistreated my family? Or am I going to remember those who helped me and then try to emulate them?
My memory of my music teacher reminds me to be a nurse for others who are spiritually sick. The next time I see someone who is lonely and afraid, I want to be willing to shed some tears and give a hug.
Will you do the same?
- In what way has (or hasn’t) the church been a hospital for you?
- How have you ministered the healing of Christ to others?
- Anything else on your heart!
Kayla Henning is a soon-to-be college freshman who Cheri Gregory (aka “Mrs. G”) loved having in her AP English Lit & Comp class last year!