June 13, 2019

A Field Hospital

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 13, 2019

At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. Acts 16:33 (NIV)

Several years ago, Pope Francis gave an interview in which he discussed, amongst many things, his vision of the church’s role in the world today, likening it to that of a field hospital. He said, “I see clearly that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds…. And you have to start from the ground up.”

For most of us, hospitals are stationary things. You go to them, they don’t come to you! If you are hurt or sick, they will be there ready and waiting, hoping that you can make it there in time! How often do we have this mindset within the church? We say we have the hope of the world and a message that will transform lives, yet so often we stay within the safe confines of the church, welcoming (in theory, at least) anyone who might stumble through our doors.

By contrast, field hospitals are responsive and never stationary. Like medics in a battle, they rush into places of great need. When was the last time you actively and intentionally entered into a chaotic place of need in order to heal a wound?

I think of that popular quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” If we have eyes to see, there are hard battles being fought all around us. And while I appreciate the sentiment, as we understand it, I’m not sure “kindness” is all that is asked of us as Christians.

One understanding of kindness leaves us still stuck in passive thinking, saying we won’t be rude or harsh if someone happens to cross our path. Yet Christian kindness is always proactive and intentional, seeking others out in the name of Jesus. Perhaps we might put it this way:  “Sacrificially give your life away, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” “Love others as we have been loved by Jesus, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” “Serve and do not seek to be served, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

The love of God makes us bold and invites us daily to enter into chaotic places, trusting that He is with us and goes before us!


Father, give us eyes to see the wounds all around us, and the courage and compassion to heal those wounds, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Where can your kindness move from being passive to being proactive?

Related Reading

Psalm 102:2-3; Proverbs 3:5-8; 1 Peter 2:24

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