Reflections on Revelation #37

Day 37

“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love”. Rev 2:4 NASB.

Nothing could be colder than a church that doesn’t love. And the love that truly matters must go beyond formalities, beyond the meeting of basic needs, to compassionate connection with others.

In 1992 Jack Harris was invited with a group of hospital administrators to visit the People’s Republic of China. He was asked to present a paper on “Healing Through Kindness.” Prior to the week-long seminar in which he was participating, the group visited hospitals across the nation to observe their methods and procedures. There were a number of potentially useful differences, such as acupuncture. There were also some strange and questionable practices.

In one hospital they witnessed people being examined for various ailments. Patients were lined up on crude benches, waiting for their turn. One by one their names were called out over the loud public address system. The patients entered a very large room where medical personnel were standing beside beds waiting for the next patient.

Harris watched a man treat three different people, two women and a man. When the examiner was finished with a patient he simply thumped them on the head. That was his signal that he was through with them. They got up and walked away. There was no comment from either doctor or patient. It was like a medical assembly line, cold and indifferent.

On another occasion Harris visited a nursery with two nurses and 47 babies. It seemed that all the babies were crying at once. Harris approached the closest baby. She lay there screaming and kicking like babies anywhere. Her little black-haired head rolled back and forth in the crib. Her little feet stroked the air with fervour. The grandfather in him made him reach down and touch her cheek. Instantly the little girl stopped kicking and crying and looked up into his face. In moments her face broke into a smile. It was as if she spoke perfect English. Or is a touch and a smile the same in any language?

There are many in this world who live lives of loneliness and emptiness. They are worth more than a thump on the head. Your touch and your smile have tremendous power to express the kind of love that changes people. The adults around you may not be kicking and screaming, but are longing for the practical touch of love. Ephesus was a church that used to love like that, but had forsaken this course in the name of doctrinal purity. In our zeal to make sure that the “Nicolaitans” around us do not infiltrate the church, we often freeze out the lonely and neglected along with them.

1 Comment
  • Amanda Sheldon
    Posted at 06:28h, 08 February Reply

    This is powerful!

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