Luke 10: 25-37
Superficial: Concerned with or comprehending only what is on the surface or obvious: a superficial observer Dictionary.com
In my last blog, “The Spiritual Reflux Disease” I used the Lord’s metaphor, “The Vine and the Branches” to demonstrate how a believer must abide in Christ’s love to allow the power of His love to flow through us to others. The analogy of the vein to the branches makes sense in the fact that He uses His vessels (branches) attached to Him to bring the source of His cleansing blood to those who need forgiveness and healing.
Unfortunately, the Venaseal procedure I mentioned for the treatment for the Venous reflux disease resulted in a contraindication called, “Thrombophlebitis” – a blood clot that develops in a surface vein. This is one of the risks of the procedure, along with an allergic reaction to the Venaseal glue. I had both.
The area became swollen, infected, inflamed, and painful, therefore, I lost confidence in going forth with any more procedures. I also was running a slight fever. I prayed, asking the Lord to give me wisdom on what to do. So, I called my physician and he prescribed an antibiotic. I took the medication for two days and was reexamined. The inflammation had spread, and it was determined that I was probably experiencing an allergic reaction to the glue used to seal the diseased vein. He then prescribed Benadryl and compression to the weakened area to allow increased blood flow. The combination of compression and Benadryl produced a decrease in swelling, pain, and inflammation. But the Superficial Thrombophlebitis remained. I am grateful for a physician who listens and is willing to see things from my perspective and do whatever is necessary for the healing to take place.
The word “superficial” got my attention in regard to how I have approached relationships. It’s hard to come clean, but the truth of the matter is I usually approach people from my perspective instead of looking closer and listening, more attentively. I also constrain myself in going only so far in my involvement with them. That sounds pretty callous, but it’s the truth, and I am sure there are those who sense this about me and turn away. How can I ever think to represent Christ and allow His love to flow into someone’s life if I am not willing to lay down my perspective, and go all the way?
I know I don’t have the gift of discernment in all of this, but Jesus does, and He is willing to share it with me if only I would ask. And what’s wrong in asking for His empathy for someone who is hurting. The story of the Good Samaritan comes to my mind as I reflect on all of this. It was only one who took the time to notice the wounded man and was willing to stop, be inconvenienced, and then do all that was necessary to help him. He didn’t take the wounded man home with him, but he took him where he could get the care he needed. There was always the risk of losing something in the process, but his compassion told him, it was the right thing to do.
Sometimes it only takes a kind gesture, or word to let someone know of God’s love. I pray I’ll be willing to go as far as it takes to bring someone to Jesus, Who is always willing to meet all of our physical and spiritual needs. (Matthew 8: 1-3)