When one suffers, we all suffer together

Samaritan Ministries leadership  ·  Jun 08, 2020

Dear Samaritan Ministries community,

This has been a difficult month for so many of us as we try to process and respond in Christ-honoring ways to the events taking place across our nation and in our cities and neighborhoods.

With the tragic and needless death of George Floyd, we have one more painful reminder that injustice is alive and well in parts of our society. We know that there is a depth of hurt and sadness many are experiencing right now, on staff and among our members. For those who are hurting, the leadership at Samaritan Ministries wants to say that we see you. You are dearly loved. And we will move forward together.

As followers of Jesus, we know that the problems we are facing can be traced back to the sin in our hearts. We also know that the lasting hope we are looking for is found in Jesus Christ and His Gospel, which leads us to reconciliation with God and one another. We believe that if God can tear down the hostility between Jew and Gentile and make “one new man” in Christ (Ephesians 2) He can bring healing and unity among all of us today. This reconciliation in Christ—and the healing it brings—is the task of the Body of Christ.

At Samaritan Ministries, our mission is to be a community of Christians who care for one another during times of medical illness. In our focus on that mission, we are cautious in responding to headlines or shifting cultural or political winds. However, to us, this situation is more than a headline. Members in our community are grieving, and Scripture says, “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26). We are suffering together right now.

At the same time, we reject the violence threatening lives and property across the US, often in communities of color that have already suffered disproportionately. The Scriptures are clear: “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

To go forward, we heed the guidance of Scripture: “… let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). Our staff is learning this firsthand. We are asking God to help us more fully reflect Jesus and His kingdom in our community. Last week, we virtually gathered to participate in a conversation between two of our senior leaders. This conversation was a time of listening and seeking to understand, of letting the Holy Spirit work in our hearts to help us see things from each other’s experiences.

Our CIO, Will Cooper, who has been on the receiving end of racial injustice, reminded us of how essential Christian love is during these times when he said, “We have to start our dialogue with love. Everything we do needs to be in love, for hate is the fuel for racism." He continued by saying, “In Christ, humanity is free—we can all demonstrate the kindness of treating every person as our fellow human of equal worth. We need to love our neighbor and understand our neighbor’s perspective. Remember, we don’t all have the same experiences. However, all of us deserve to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect."

We long for the day when that great multitude of saints “that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Revelation 7:9) join in love and unity and worship before our Savior Jesus Christ.

Let’s keep giving ourselves to humble listening, learning, loving, and reconciling toward that glorious day—together, as one Body in Jesus Christ.

Samaritan Ministries Leadership