So much of what I do involves caring for things and people who are broken. Sometimes the people are “broken,” with thoughts, beliefs, and desires that are detached from what is biblical. I have a large number of broken relationships that need mending, whether it is marriages, parents and children, or friendships that are fractured. Then there are the broken hearts…the unfulfilled hopes and dreams that lay like potsherd at their feet. These, I think, are the hardest.
“Do you love Me? Feed my sheep” John 21
Caring for the broken could quickly become overwhelming without the right understanding of who I am.
And who I am not.
A friend recently asked me about how I provide soul-care without becoming an emotional basket case over each broken heart and broken life I see during the week. My answer: It’s simple really. While I am to weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15) I point them to their only true Comfort- Jesus Christ. While I am to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) I am to point them to the One who brings about heart change that leads to life change- Jesus Christ.
My counselor trainees will recognize what I am about to say, I am just the conduit. My job is to carry the message of the Bible with grace and truth to the eyes, ears, and heart of the counselee. It is the Holy Spirit who makes it alive and understandable to them. I am not responsible for if a person accepts or receives the truth, I am only the delivery mechanism. I recognize that I am just the tool in the hand of the Master. I am being used by Him but I am not the agent of change, that role belongs to the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
I care deeply about my counselee’s. I pray for them and with them, and I confess I carry their burdens around in the back of my mind throughout the week; wondering if I can find just the right verse or home work assignment that will prick their heart in the right way. Hoping they are becoming doers of the Word not just hearers (James 1:22) of the Word.
I love caring for the broken. I think it is a beautiful one-another ministry, and a picture of God’s steadfast love and care for His sheep (Matthew 18:12).