“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34
You may think this is about an injured baby deer. It’s not. It’s not about how early one morning I found a baby deer sitting under a beautiful tree like the deer was a dog enjoying the morning quiet. Nor about how I knew something was wrong because deer don’t just sit under trees like dogs sometimes do. Nor about how I realized the deer when it saw me should have gotten up and darted away. Nor about how I cried when the deer finally got up and it became clear it had a leg dangling from its body like the rescue dog I took in years ago that had been run over by a car but who by God’s grace was rescued, his leg amputated, and ultimately adopted into a loving home unlike the poor deer would ever have the opportunity to do. Nor about how I couldn’t get help for the deer in time as it did its best to hurry off on its three other legs. Nor about how I prayed because I knew the deer needed a miracle. It’s about another kind of tragedy. A human one. One I considered when I drove off, the deer long gone.
This is what came to me. The deer was all alone. Broken. In pain. Injured. Hurting. Desperately in need. Where were all its buddies? Its fellow deer? I don’t know anything about deer, so apparently maybe it’s not the norm for deer to help one another when one of them is injured. But what I considered is how often people in this world are broken, in pain, injured, hurting, desperately in need, and how we are so consumed with our own lives we walk right past them, sometimes noticing them but too attached to our plans, agendas, appointments, dreams, whatever, to help them, or haughtily or disgustingly looking down on or away from them, sometimes not noticing them at all. How do we respond, and what do we do, when we see broken people, people in need, injured people, the hurting, lost, abandoned, addicted, homeless, hopeless, sick, disabled, dying, old, depressed, grieving, etc.? Sometimes we’re too consumed to even notice them. Other times we notice and turn away. Christ’s followers are part of Christ’s Body intended to care for one another in Christ’s name and to reach out to people who don’t know and follow Christ and love and help them and tell them about Christ and help them to find and follow Him also. But how often are broken people, the suffering, hurting, etc., sitting under a tree, so to speak, like the deer, barely able to move, not receiving the love of Christ, not hearing the Gospel of Christ, not receiving help in their relationship with God if they already follow Him, because we’re neglecting and failing to stop what we’re doing and share with them about, and show them the love of, the Lord Jesus Christ, in His name, in God’s strength, by the leading of His Spirit, for His amazing glory?