Pause

Outsiders.

In loneliness, sickness, poverty, hunger, or neglect, they suffer quietly.

Outsiders sit alone eating their lunch. They stay at home, not invited.

But they have not been forgotten by God.

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Listen

Naaman, a general for the king of Aram, was a great man and highly regarded by his master, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. This man was a mighty warrior, but he had a skin disease. Now Aramean raiding parties had gone out and captured a young girl from the land of Israel. She served Naaman’s wife.

She said to her mistress, “I wish that my master could come before the prophet who lives in Samaria. He would cure him of his skin disease.”

2 Kings 5:1-3

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Think

Naaman had achieved celebrity status. He had wealth, power, and access to kings. He could buy anything he wanted. Almost. He could not buy the healing he needed. His disease left him outside the bounds of human relationship and community.

The great warrior could not heal himself. Rather, a little slave girl knew a prophet who was able to cure. Her circumstances placed her exactly where God would use her. Whether she boldly proclaimed or quietly suggested, she spoke a message of hope with confidence. She did not speak with blind hope. She knew where to find the cure. She knew, so she shared.

What circumstances today position you to speak a word of peace, extend a gesture of kindness, or bring comfort, joy, healing, and hope to an outsider?

James R. Smith

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Pray

God, help me to see those outside relationship with you and others. Help me to see with my eyes and my heart. Teach me to offer community to those around me and to speak words of hope in Christ. Amen.

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Go

Jesus heals that which is broken and makes it stronger in the broken places.

In a fast-paced, diverse society, outsiders are all around.

Your word, your warmth, your walk, your friendliness can build a bridge of healing today.

James R. Smith

James R. (Jim) Smith is President of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Foundation. Smith has served as pastor and on staff of churches in Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri. Jim and his wife Debra have a son, a daughter, 5 grandchildren, and live in Lilburn, Georgia with their dog, Barkley.

Making Space: Quiet As God

Carter Harrell

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