HER VOICE WAS WEAK and fearful as she spoke to me over the phone. It was almost midnight, and she kept apologizing . . . but she was so lonely and wanted someone to listen. I never got her name nor her address nor enough hints about her location to follow up our conversation. Her desperate story broke my heart. I wept after she said “Good-bye—thanks for listening.”
My anonymous friend wasn’t wanted by her mother and dad when she was home. They placed her in a foster home and walked out of her life, leaving no clues of their whereabouts and no promise of their return. She went from home to home, longing for the day when they would come back and want her and accept her and love her. The world is filled with people who feel unwanted—those afflicted with debilitating illness, others who struggle to fit in because of autism, still others who long to be included who aren’t as physically agile or naturally gifted in sports. They languish in the silent prison of loneliness.
Jesus not only understood such people, He was drawn to them:
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.
I’ve often wondered what meant more to this man—that he was suddenly made clean, or that Jesus noticed him and touched him. Either way, Jesus did both, and that says so much about how we ought to see others.
I urge you to be especially attentive to those around you who are so easily marginalized by our fast-paced, demanding society. Draw close to the have-nots, invite the uninvited, make sure to go out of your way to notice someone who never gets noticed by the group—then look them in the eye and speak to them. You just may be the miracle they’ve been asking for.
Has God worked in your life in a significant way through Chuck Swindoll and the ministry of Insight for Living? Whatever your story, we’d love for you to tell it to us! Psalm 9:11 tells us to “declare among the peoples His deeds” so others can be encouraged. Submit your story.