My message this Sunday was on love. It was a Valentine’s Day message. Below is a story of “love in action” which I used to illustrate my sermon.
May it be a blessing to you,
Doug Nichols went to India to be a missionary. While he was just starting to study the language, he became infected with tuberculosis and had to be put in a sanitarium.
It was not a very good place to live. It was not very clean and conditions were difficult because there were so many sick people. Doug decided to do the best he could in this bad situation. He took a bunch of Christian books and tracts with him and was determined to witness to the other patients while in the sanitarium.
But when he tried to pass out tracts, they were rejected. No one wanted them. He tried to hand out books, but no one would take them. He tried to witness, but was handicapped because of his inability to communicate in their language. In addition to being committed to a sanitarium, he felt so discouraged.
Here he was. Because of his illness he would be there a long time. It seemed like the work which he had been sent to do would not be done because no one would listen to him.
Because of his tuberculosis, every night at about 2 o’clock he would wake up with chronic coughing that wouldn’t stop. Then one night when he awoke he noticed across the aisle an old man trying to get out of bed. The man would roll himself up into a little ball and teeter back & forth trying to get up the momentum to get up on his feet. He just couldn’t do it. He was too weak.
Finally, after several attempts, the old man laid back and wept. The next morning Doug understood why the man had been crying. He was trying to get up to get to the bathroom and didn’t have enough strength. So his bed was a mess and there was a smell in the air.
The other patients made fun of the old man. The nurses came to clean up his bed and they weren’t kind to him either. In fact, one of them even slapped him on the face. Doug said, “the old man just laid there and cried.”
“The next night about 2 o’clock I started coughing again. I looked across the aisle and there was the old man trying to get out of bed once more. I really didn’t know what to do. Somehow, I managed to get up and walk across the aisle. This time I helped the old man stand up.”
He was too weak to walk. I took him in my arms and carried him like a baby. He was so light it wasn’t a difficult task. I took him into the bathroom, which was nothing more than a dirty hole in the floor. I stood behind him and cradled him in my arms as he took care of himself.”
“Afterward, I carried him back to his bed and laid him down. As I turned to leave he reached up, grabbed my face, pulled me close, and kissed me on the cheek. He said what I think was `Thank you.’”
Doug said, “The next morning there were patients waiting when I awoke. They asked if they could read some of the books and tracts that I had brought. Others had questions about the God I worshiped and His only begotten Son who came into the world to die for their sins.”
He gave out all the literature that he had brought. Many of the doctors, nurses, and patients in the sanitarium came to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
He said, “Now what did I do? I didn’t preach a sermon. I couldn’t even communicate in their language. I didn’t have a great lesson to teach them. I didn’t have wonderful things to offer. All I did was take an old man to the bathroom and anyone can do this.”
Someone has said, “They will not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”