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

When Jesus saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they left, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw that he had been healed, returned and praised God with a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. He was a Samaritan.

Luke 17:14-16

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Think

One returned to say “thank you.” He was an outsider in more ways than one. A leper. A foreigner. Outside the faith tradition. Outside the favor of society. But not outside the attention of Jesus.

In trusting Jesus, one who was far away drew near. The one who was more of an outsider than any of the others did not ignore grace.

Homeless people hang out at the fast food place. Some are aggressive, asking for cash. But she was different. Whether weak from the hot weather or from hunger, she barely lifted her eyes. She whispered, “I’m hungry.” The response? Give her money? No. “Have lunch with me.”

She quietly gathered her things, slid into a booth, but couldn’t read the menu. Confused, she started to leave. Thanks to pictures on the menu, an hour later she smiled and said, “thank you.” Thanks, not for a full stomach but for the gift of mercy and grace. Freely given. Fully received.

What will you risk to help an outsider today?

James R. Smith

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Pray

God, remind me of the times when I forget to give thanks. Please use my life to bring healing to others. Give me the courage to risk and to trust you for all I need. 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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