The Weak and The Afflicted

During a visit to an East Africa hospital, I met a 10-year-old boy, Joseph, who is severely disfigured. A nurse explained that when Joseph was an infant his mother set him on fire. Though he miraculously survived, his left leg was burned to a mere stub. His right is permanently bent backwards, with webbed toes that were heavily damaged by the flames. Joseph's left hand is missing two fingers, and, despite multiple operations, his wrist bone protrudes from the skin.

I held Joseph as the nurse changed his bandages, and was amazed when he confidently said to me, "The Lord's going to make me well!"

I believe Joseph is right. Though I don't know when or how God will bring healing to the child, I trust Isaiah who prophesied that one day the Lord will come, "and when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!" (Isaiah 35:5-6).

But for now, we live in an age where homes and communities around the world contain broken, hurting people. These individuals, like Joseph, are in dire need of our love and care. The apostle Paul told God's people to "take tender care of those who are weak" (1 Th. 5:14).

His words echo the words of King Solomon in Psalm 72 as he implored God's people to: • Judge others in a right and righteous way (v.2). • Let the poor always be treated fairly (v.2). • Defend the poor and afflicted (v.4). • Rescue the children of the needy (v.4). What can you do today to be a blessing to a physically impaired person in your community? , Roxanne Robbins

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