Reaching out to those who suffer is grounded in the belief that the living Christ is present with us and those who suffer. Daily, we encounter people who suffer: a family member with a cancer diagnosis, a co-worker experiencing a divorce, or an aging parent. Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) encourages us to reach out to those who suffer.
When we reach out to those who suffer, we should not minimize the importance of physical presence because it is love made flesh. I still remember church members who have expressed gratitude to me because of my presence when they were suffering.