She was reclining; her legs stretched out, trying to find a comfortable position. The lady had beautiful, short grey hair, which complimented her bright-colored sweater and perfectly applied make-up. She kept looking up at the bag dripping slowing into her IV. Her husband, perched on a stool by her chair, tenderly held her hand and softly stroked her wrist with his thumb. As he held her hand as a young bride, he now lovingly caressed that same hand, assuring her that “everything was going to be all right.” She gently patted his hand and smiled.
This scenario plays itself over and over in the chemo room. Anxious family members hover around trying to do something to make their loved one comfortable. Drinks are brought in, blankets gently placed on outstretched legs, brown bags with sandwiches are opened; all offered with tenderness and compassion.
Last week, I noticed a family of three adult children sitting in the waiting room as their sweet mother walked behind the nurse pushing their elderly father in a wheelchair. He was staring straight ahead, oblivious to the attention. After he was settled, his wife walked back and forth, making sure that he was comfortable. How many years has she loved and tenderly nurtured this man?
We are made in God’s own image. As he lovingly nurtures and loves us, we too, nurture and love each other, never more so than when a loved one is sick or hurting. Tenderness is defined as kind, sympathetic, and merciful—all traits that could be included as one of the fruits of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22,23
Yes, God’s Spirit is definitely in that room, bringing out the best in the nurses, the patients, and the family members who brought them there. Gently, He moves throughout the room, touching each person with His love as He tenderly looks through the eyes of his servants. In Matthew 10:1, Jesus gives his disciples the power to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives. (Msg) That power is the same today as it was in the New Testament. God’s healing and tender love is shared through a touch, a smile, and a small kindness. Thank you, Lord, for your love.