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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Naaman’s servants came up to him and spoke to him: “Our father, if the prophet had told you to do something difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? All he said to you was, ‘Wash and become clean.’” So Naaman went down and bathed in the Jordan seven times, just as the man of God had said. His skin was restored like that of a young boy, and he became clean.

He returned to the man of God with all his attendants. He came and stood before Elisha, saying, “Now I know for certain that there’s no God anywhere on earth except in Israel. Please accept a gift from your servant.”

2 Kings 5:13-15

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Naaman asked, “Why?” His servants asked, “Why not?”

At first Naaman reacts. But later he is willing to respond.

Healing for Naaman happened in a surprising way. The mighty warrior was convinced by his humble servants. The foreign prophet knew what action to take. Stepping out of his comfort zone, Naaman was ready to receive what the prophet held.

We are created for fellowship with God and one another. Healing happens in communities of surprising folks when we are ready to receive.

What are you ready to receive today? What are you ready to give so that someone — perhaps an outsider — might receive healing and hope?

James R. Smith

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God, I need to respond to your love and to others with love and trust of my own. Help me be willing to receive from you and from others according to your choices for me. Give me the courage to reach out to others that they may receive from you also. Amen.

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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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