Hebrews 13:3

On that icy January morning, in a 25-cent-a-night flophouse, a shell of a man who looked twice his age staggered to the washbasin and fell. The basin toppled and shattered.

He was found lying in aheap, unclothed and bleeding from a deep gash in his throat. His forehead was badly bruised, and he was semiconscious. A doctor used black sewing thread that somebody had found to suture the wound. All the while the bum begged for a drink. A buddy shared the bottom of a rum bottle to calm his nerves.

He was dumped in a paddy wagon and dropped off at Bellevue Hospital, where he would languish, unable to eat for three days ... and die. Still unknown.

A friend seeking him was directed to the local morgue. There, among dozens of other colourless, nameless corpses with tags on their toes, he was identified. When they scraped together his belongings, they found a ragged, dirty coat with 38 cents in one pocket and a scrap of paper in the other. Enough coins for another night in the flophouse and five words, “Dear friends and gentle hearts.” Almost like the words of a song. Why would a forgotten drunk carry around a line of lyrics? Maybe that derelict with the body of a bum still had the heart of a genius. For once upon a time, long before his tragic death at age 37, Stephen Foster had written songs that literally made the whole world sing, such as “Camptown Races” and “Oh! Susanna!”

There are many forgotten lives on the earth. Some are in prison. Some in hospitals.Some in nursing homes. And some silently slip into church on Sunday morning, terribly confused and afraid. Until someone steps in and, in love, rebuilds a life, restores a soul, rekindles a flame that sin snuffed out, and renews a song that once was there. Read carefully God’s penetrating perspective:

Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies (Hebrews 13:3).

Can you put yourself into the pain of those who suffer? Can you pause long enough to show the love of Christ to them?


Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord ... Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright ©2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.