“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15
“For the body does not consist of one member but of many… If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose… God has so composed the body,.. that there may be no division.., but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:14,17-18,24-27
One of the beautiful mysteries, and mysterious beauties, of the Body of Christ is the deep, compassionate care we have for one another. The palpable comfort we give and receive in love is inexplicable, as real and strong as the greatest powers we know: “Love is strong as death… Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.” Whether in grief over the solitary burial of a 60-year spouse, the tragic death of a young adult son, or the victims of violence we’ve never met, there is nothing like the Body to come alongside, to undergird in prayer, to weep and hurt in anguish as an interconnected people. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
God Almighty, in His infinite wisdom and perfect plan, composed His Body to integrate us, so our pain would be shared, our tears would flow together before His throne, our cries to Him would rise like pungent incense to buoy the hurting, our support could be felt and our hearts synchronized over long distance. (Psalm 141:2; Proverbs 17:17; Galatians 6:2; Revelation 5:8; 8:3-5)
In times when we are unable to personally express or practically exhibit our care, we can pray. God understands and transcends every dimension of hurt. His Spirit translates our groanings when we know not exactly what to pray, and ministers to those for whom we pray. He works invisibly and divinely through heart concern and inexpressible longings to perform His bidding and to redeem suffering. He works ultimate good as He has promised, and we glimpse His glory to be revealed through the invisible connection of shared sorrows. (Romans 8:18-28)
When separated from those whose lives are in turmoil, how will we reach out? When will we commit to pray for those who may never know, but will be affected? Is there a particular way God would have us today salve a wound, bridge generational pain, be a balm in another’s Gilead of mourning? (Jeremiah 8:21-22)
Father, thank you for the gift of shared grief and the privilege of upholding those who are suffering deeply. Help me care well for Your Body, that the hurting taste Your comfort and long for future glory.