Jesus says of the Good Samaritan: “He went [to the injured man] and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.” (Luke 10: 34)
In Jesus’ story a Jew had been beaten up, robbed, and left injured beside the road. Two Jews, a priest and a Levite, walk right past him — they are focused on their ministerial duties of professional cure and offer no care.
But a Samaritan man, who all his life has been scorned and rejected by Jews because he’s half Jew and half Gentile, stops to help the injured Jew. He’s busy but he takes time to care for the man’s wounds. He gets bloody. He gives up his donkey. He pays money to get the man a room at an Inn and further nursing help.
The Good Samaritan offers care and cure. He offers lovingkindness to a stranger and an enemy who was suddenly his neighbor.
Care Is the Source of All Cure
To be a Soul Shepherd is to put care before cure. We put compassion for hurts before coaching for change.
Henri Nouwen wrote that care is the source of all cure:
Care is something other than cure. Cure means “change.” A doctor, a lawyer, a minister, a social worker — they all want to use their professional skills to bring about changes in people’s lives. They get paid for whatever kind of cure they can bring about.
But cure, desirable as it may be, can easily become violent, manipulative, and even destructive if it does not grow out of care.
Care is being with, crying out with, suffering with, feeling with. Care is compassion. It is claiming the truth that the other person is my brother or sister, human, mortal, vulnerable, like I am.
When care is our first concern, cure can be received as a gift. Often we are not able to cure, but we are always able to care. To care is to be human.
(Henri Nouwen Society Daily Meditation; February 8, 2016)
Giving Care and Cure
Soul Shepherding Groups put care and cure together. Kristi and I have been leading these for many years. They’re like a home school. They’re hospitable places for learning to be like Jesus. They’re safe places where you can bring your broken life to receive comfort and be restored. They’re workshops where you can learn to trust Jesus more deeply and become like him more profoundly. They’re places to give and receive the transforming love of Christ.
My new book Your Best Life In Jesus’ Easy Yoke will help you experience Christly care and cure and to share this with people in your circle of influence.
It’s easy to use this tool to facilitate an “Easy Yoke Group” for your friends or people in your church. Ten chapters feature real life stories, inspired Bible teaching, surveys on life stress issues, spiritual experiments, and soul talk questions.
Pastors, business people, mothers, spiritual directors, and all kinds of people are already using Easy Yoke to help them invite other people to join them in living as apprentices to Jesus in the Kingdom of God.
Your Best Life In Jesus’ Easy Yoke is available as paperback or Kindle through SoulShepherding.org or on Amazon. Either way all the profits go to our 501c3 nonprofit ministry.
You can get a large discount by ordering in bulk to share with a group or class that you’re leading. You can do that by contacting me here.