Taking the Lead: Duty to Care for One Another
This article originally appeared in the December 2023 issue of FOCUS Magazine.
At the heart of our Christmas season is a celebration of love. It is the love that Jesus showed in entering the world as a helpless newborn, that He might one day save us. This is the magic of our message, that an act of love changed the world. In the words of Simeon when he held baby Jesus: “My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2:30-32)
Jesus showed His love for us and, as His followers, we seek to share that love and the light it brings with those around us. God seeks a personal relationship with us and, in turn, asks us to seek connection with those around us, those who cross our paths. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” (1 John 4:7a)
We are living in the most digitally connected period yet, but maybe one of the loneliest times in history. Are we forgetting how to really see one another and listen? Are there people all around us who are lonely and struggling? Can we find help in our own struggles by showing interest and concern for another human being?
I am not preaching to anyone but myself. It is in this message that I find my way out of my own little world sometimes to show love for those around me. I can be too distracted with my own cares to do anything about the needs around me. But if I believe that those around me are created in the image of God and loved by him, then I have an obligation to show them love when a real opportunity presents itself.
As Christians, we can look at society at large and critique this growing sense of isolation we see, but are we any different? I see a lot of followers of Jesus who need friendship, encouragement, and even just someone to notice that they are there. Please, God, help me to move beyond my own comfort and my focus of “having it all” to be a part of their story. I’m not suggesting we try to latch on to a few people and be their weird new best friend. I am challenging myself to smile more at others when I meet them, to ask people how they are doing, to pay attention to people who feel they fade into the background.
As CMDA Canada members, we can do that by loving and caring for others who share our struggles as medical and dental professionals. Would we notice if a member of our Chapter suddenly stopped showing up to events or answering emails? Would we see another member who is struggling and reach out to them? I know sometimes we can get so busy with the 99 that we forget to even notice the one who is wandering, suffering, or in distress.
It is at this joyous season in our Christian calendar that it might be easiest to show a little Christian love. As we come together to celebrate Jesus’ birth, may that sense of God’s love for us inspire us to spread it around a bit. Are we likely to regret taking a moment to send an encouraging note or (gasp!) call someone on the phone? Could we look around our churches for the ones looking lonely and notice them with a smile or a little conversation? And not everyone who seems to have it all together actually feels peaceful or content and, as a result, they sometimes get missed.
I love that in the Christmas season, people all around the world pause and worship Jesus, the Saviour of the world, who came as a vulnerable child. May that powerful message inspire me to love a little more.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)