Last Saturday morning I was at the Y, that’s my usually Saturday morning thing. I did my time on the treadmill…correction, the elliptical. I often refer to the elliptical as the treadmill and there’s a couple of people in our household that say, ‘it’s an elliptical, Dad.’ Anyway, as I was walking out, there was a little girl walking down the hallway with her mom. She must have been six or seven. She was walking very slowly because she had a cane in each hand. I have seen a few people upstairs in the Y walking like that…there is a centre up there that deals with people with walking difficulties. This young lady was walking along slowly and her mom was patiently there beside her as she walked to the girl’s change room. My heart broke for her.
Here I am a forty-six year old, enjoying relatively good health. And here was this little girl who will likely never jump or run or skip with the other little girls. She’ll likely never play baseball or basketball or volleyball. She may never play hide and seek. She may never climb a tree or hang from a jungle gym or ride a bike…and my heart grieved as I was thinking about her as I drove home.
We know that a new body is coming. Romans 8 says the earth groans and that we groan. We long for fully redeemed bodies and it’s not going to happen in this lifetime.
I think back to this little girl and I think what I had for her was compassion. When Jesus saw the hungry crowd in Matthew 15, he had compassion on them. It’s not wrong to have compassion on the physical needs of people…but we also know that the bigger point of Jesus performing miracles was to point to Himself as God. And as much as we should have compassion on people over physical disabilities, we know there’s a greater need.
I have often been struck by Jesus’ response to the rich young ruler.
 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21 ESV)
He looked on him and loved him. I love the way that’s written. Jesus showed compassion on people’s physical needs but there’s a greater need still. It’s a spiritual one. He looked at the rich young ruler and said, ‘follow me’, ‘make me your greatest treasure, because your greatest treasure isn’t Me’. He had his hands tightly wrapped around the stuff that’s going to burn. He wanted this young guy to make Him the greatest treasure and this was motivated by love.
We have lots of physical needs in this lifetime and healing sometimes comes and often it doesn’t. I have experienced very few physical problems in my lifetime and when some come for a short season, you want to be released from them very quickly, but the biggest need is the gospel.
I have a number of co-workers who look normal but from the Bible’s vantage point they are the walking dead. I was trained on a new machine a couple of days ago and as I got to talking to the gal that was showing me the ropes, it turned out she went to the same high school as me and graduated a year before me. I went to school with her sister but had never had a conversation with her, I had never met her. May God grant me the grace and boldness to share the greatest story, ever.
Our hearts grieve over some of the physical pains of this life but may a deeper broken-heartedness grow in us over the spiritual needs of the people that we rub shoulders with…to pray for them, to care for them, and to share with them…the ear-screaming good news of the gospel.