The Power of Love

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

As I stood next to the hospital bed of a woman I was visiting a nurse walked in and asked me who I was. I told her my name is Mike and that I am the patients pastor. The nurse asked the question because the hospital had been unable to locate any next of kin to discuss her condition and necessary treatments. I proceeded to explain to the nurse that I was attempting to get an advance health directive signed so I could assist the woman and the doctors caring for her since she has no relationship with the eight children she birthed into this world. She was in pretty bad shape suffering from years of poor health and little to no medical attention other than the drugs she could get on the street for the pain she was suffering. As the nurse explained her condition my own heart ached as this woman lying in the hospital bed is a reflection of much of our world today.

We live in a broken world of broken people. The evidence is all around us. It’s why Jesus came, why He was born. Jesus came to heal us, to redeem us, to restore us back to God and what we once were before the fall of Adam. When you study Jesus life you find God living and walking among us with a heart and eyes filled and moved by compassion for hurting people everywhere He went.

Over and over again we read how Jesus was “moved by compassion” as He healed and fed and brought dignity to the lives of those He touched. And yet Jesus is closer to us now than He ever was then. By the Holy Spirit Jesus heart envelopes His bride with an embrace that is closer and tighter than He ever offered when He walked this earth. Jesus actions in His physical body then continue on now through His spiritual body, the church. Since we are the body of Christ (Jesus hands and feet) and everyone you see today is fighting an uphill battle the opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ is boundless.

As I got ready to leave the nurse told me that the woman had been pretty much unresponsive during the day so they were at a loss in trying to determine the best way to move forward in her treatment. After the nurse left I felt this overwhelming sense of compassion and knew what I needed to do to help. I took the woman’s hand and called her name. She opened her eyes and closed them a few times as if she was trying to focus. As she lay there looking up at me I asked if she could hear me. She nodded and said “yes” to which I responded, “I need you to look at me”. She opened her eyes and as she did I said, “I Love You”. I repeated the words a few times not because I thought she didn't hear me. I repeated myself because I was certain it had been too long since she heard them. Tears filled her eyes and she said “thank you” and for the next few minutes this formerly unresponsive woman talked to me clearly and when the nurse returned she was amazed at her sudden change. Oh that you and I would understand the power of God’s love.

In a moment, in the twinkling of her eyes the Lord taught me a very powerful and profound lesson on compassion. As one author put it, “A warm hug (or in this case the holding of a hand) does something warm words alone cannot do.” It’s no wonder the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” The love Paul speaks of is more than words alone but love expressed in action, in kindness. Today you and I have the opportunity to show the world the love of Christ by our actions. Remember, people might forget what we say, and trust me they will, but they won’t soon forget how we made them feel. May we help people feel loved today for one simple reason…

God IS Love!

1 John 4:8


Michael Osthimer




no categories


no tags