See One. Do One. Teach One
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
In medicine, there’s a necessary tradition of handing down technical skills from one generation to the next. Textbook knowledge alone doesn’t make a good provider. There are some things that must be learned by experience. To this end, we have a saying: See one. Do one. Teach one. That’s oversimplified a bit, but you get the idea. When I learned to do a lumbar puncture or deliver a baby, I first had to watch while someone walked me through it. Then under guidance, I did it myself, hopefully becoming proficient. Finally, it’s expected that I’ll complete the cycle by passing my experience on to the next generation. If I refuse to share, then I don’t deserve that which I’ve been given.
Paul taught a similar principle in today’s passage. In it, he said that just as God has comforted us in our afflictions, so too must we comfort others. This isn’t optional, but rather is understood and expected of us. If we’ve found love, healing, transformation, and comfort in our faith, then we have an obligation to share these things with those in need.
We often find excuses though. Maybe we’re too busy or maybe we just feel we’re not good enough. Perhaps we’d simply prefer to pray for the one struggling. Just as God has sent others to us though, he sends us in return. Whether we like it or not, we may be God’s answer to someone’s prayer. We don’t want to be the answer though. Frankly, sometimes God asks us to go to those whom we’d rather not help. That guy is a disaster. I’d prefer not to get involved. The disparity between the worst person on Earth and us though, will never be as great as the disparity between God and us. He didn’t love and forgive us because we deserved it. He just loved us.
It is after all, God’s love that fills us and that must pour out of us. We cannot do it on our own and thankfully, we don’t have to. As we have been loved, we can be vessels for God’s love to flow through us into the lives of those around us. If we desire to see God’s grace, comfort, and love continue in our lives, sharing those things with others isn’t optional.