Pastor Larson’s Corner: Knowing someone cares

Pastor Larsons Corner

My high school basketball coach was always yelling at me. I thought he criticized my play more than that of my teammates, so one day I asked him, “Why are you always on my case?” I never forgot his answer. He said, “Larson, when I get off your case, it means I don’t care about you anymore.” From that point on I had a new appreciation for his “helpful” suggestions. I didn’t appreciate being criticized, but I wanted him to keep caring about me even more.

We all need people who care about us. We all need someone who hasn’t given up on us and who will be there no matter what we do or say. When we are going through our most difficult times, it helps to know that someone cares. Knowing this often makes it possible for us to go on in life when things get really rough.

We should always remember that we have such a person in Jesus. Jesus spoke of himself as the Good Shepherd, and it remains one of my favorite images for Jesus in the Bible. He said that he cares for His sheep. He is not like a hired hand who cares nothing for the sheep. No, Jesus will be there even when the wolf stands at the door. We can count on it. Jesus will be there for us in our darkest hour and in the midst of our greatest despair.

A noted psychologist has said, “Every person needs someone who has for them an unconditional positive regard.” I can’t think of a better phrase to describe the kind of unconditional love that God has for us in Jesus Christ. We all need people who care about us. Knowing that Jesus cares gives us the solid foundation of caring we need to live through the most difficult of times.

Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.

Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 16, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.