The TV show MASH was set in an Army hospital in Korea during the war. The doctors and nurses were there to treat U.S. soldiers, but on some episodes Koreans who had been injured would be brought to the hospital. Some of the wounded were North Koreans – the enemy.
One character – Frank Burns – was always suspicious of the Koreans. He thought they might be there to spy on them. He wasn’t interested in helping these potentially dangerous foreigners.
Another doctor – Hawkeye Pierce – didn’t see potential spy when a hurting, bleeding Korean was brought to him. He saw a wounded person in need of help.
As we look at people around us – people who may have different beliefs and practices than we do – it can be tempting to follow the example of Frank. We see dangerous enemies we need to guard against. We view some people as foes we need to defeat.
They may hold to false beliefs that are dangerous. Their behavior might be destructive. The people themselves, though, are not to be looked at so much as enemies we fear, but as wounded souls we long to see healed. Sin and evil has captured them. Falsehood has deceived them. If they are apart from Christ their souls are sick, whether they realize it or not. They are not so much a danger to the one who is safe in Christ, but they are in grave danger if they have not taken refuge in Jesus.
God’s church is like a MASH unit. We are put on the battlefield to help hurting people find healing. At times, though, it seems we would rather be in the infantry, firing away at those who differ from us. We do stand on guard against our enemy the devil. We attack false teaching that threatens to deceive. But as we do so we keep our eyes open, looking for hurting souls we can serve.
Only the good news of Jesus can heal our deepest wounds. “… by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). The wounds Jesus suffered and the blood He shed on the cross can heal our broken relationship with God. His wounds can heal the pain of guilt and bring health and wholeness to our soul.
On the TV show, the MASH doctors got frustrated at times because they couldn’t heal many of those who were brought to them. Jesus can heal all those who come to Him in repentance of sin and faith in what He has done. That doesn’t mean physical healing always happens in this life. It doesn’t mean all hurts instantly go away. But in God’s perfect time and way, the best kind of healing comes.
We are surrounded by hurting people, but we don’t despair. We have what they need: the healing power of the good news of Jesus.