Friday, December 14, 2012

One degree of separation

"bring back a sinner"
James 5:20

I did something a little bit presumptuous today.  Not a lot, I don't think.  But I also haven't heard from all the parties involved, so I could still be scolded. 

But they were both friends, so I took the chance. 

I have two friends whose daughters are sick.  These two friends don't know each other, but I've known both of them for years, and for a few weeks now, I've been getting prayer requests from both of them regarding their girls. 

In both cases, the illness is a mystery, but the symptoms are remarkably alike.  In both cases the suspected illness is proving difficult to confirm.  And it's a fairly unusual condition, so it seems odd that I'm getting prayer requests from two people, at the same time, about something I've never even heard of. 

Because the doctors haven't been able to confirm the illness in either one of them, the girls are going through a series of tests, and taking numerous medicines.   And for both sets of parents, the lack of answers is proving frustrating.  Probably for the girls, too.   Just a few days ago, I was talking with one of my friends about the necessity of getting a second opinion.  That can be so helpful, especially when you're dealing with something that is not responding to current treatment.  You are relying on the doctor's best judgement, so it's a good idea to compare that with someone else's best judgement. 

So I decided to try to get my two friends in touch with each other.  It was a little risky, because medical information is personal, but since they've shared the circumstances with me, and other friends, I decided it might be a good time for an exception.   I emailed both of them this morning, and let them know how I know both of them, and that I thought maybe they could compare notes on doctors, symptoms, and medicines. 

It was a bit of a difficult decision for me; I knew it was presumptuous.  But I also thought about whether I knew anyone else who could connect these two women, and I could think of no one.  So I decided if this connection was going to happen, it was going to have to be me.

Okay, now look back at today's highlight verse.  It's been on my mind lately because my Amazing Boy memorized it for Bible study a couple weeks ago.  The whole thing is:  "whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save a soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins".  I normally read the Bible in the New King James version, but my boy had memorized this in the English Standard version.  The most significant difference is the word "wandering".  The NKJV says "turns a sinner from the error of his way".  Both versions make the same point of course, but that phrasing "bring back a sinner from his wandering" is just so visual.  So often, that's what our sinning is ~ wandering.  We don't necessarily make the decision to sin, we just, you know, wander.  In this passage, we are encouraged to help someone who is wandering, find their way. 

And that, takes getting involved. 

Now, these friends of mine were not wandering in sin.  But I thought they might need help.  And I thought I might be the only one who could connect them.  But whether or not I am, and whether or not it helps them,  I took the chance, wanting to help. 

So pray.  And be ready to get involved.  You might know someone who is wandering, and you might be the one to bring them back.

~ "a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name" ~
Acts 9:15

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