People don’t care how much information we have until they know how much we care!
My sister Janet and I received one of the greatest complements recently; a young woman I was praying with and sharing some of my story with over the phone and listening to her heart wrenching pain said with a brokenness in her voice as she cried; “You don’t fit into the typical Christian mold! What’s up with you and Janet?” She said we were “truthful, y’all have made mistakes and failed, but you do what’s right now and yet you aren’t condemning to me.” She said “You take God and churchy things seriously but you laugh and have a good time too. You are loving and kind and you live your life the way you talk. You have convictions, but you’re not judgmental and legalistic!” And the best part of her compliment and the words ring over and over in my ears were “You are compassionate, you care!”
WOW! My friends, when did it happen in the Christian world, when we as followers after Christ’s teachings, did we get so far off base and stop caring for the needs of others? When did we become like the world and only be interested in ourselves, our own desires and searching for what fulfills only us? When did we overlook the biblical model of Jesus’ being moved with compassion, when He wept?
Why is it that the world thinks we Christians aren’t truly, really concerned about people and their problems? That we can’t and won’t help carry their load that weighs them down; we don’t care that their lives are fractured and their hearts are breaking? That we don’t care about things like world hunger, starving children here in America, homelessness, poverty, brokenness and heartaches are not our concern? When did it become so that we are intolerant of others that don’t think, believe, act and dress like us? Why is it with pointed fingers and judgment filled hateful words do we heap shame upon them and condemn them to hell? How can we only be interested in adding their name to a list of “new converts” and then we forget about them and their problems and we are on to the next “sinner” to get converted? Where is the friendship, the discipleship, the relationship?
We tell them, “come to Jesus, get saved, all your problems will be worked out, everything will be great!” When did we ignore Jesus’s compassion to change lives, care and help those in need? Why don’t we assist in helping anymore? When did we become so hard, so critical and hateful, uncaring and when did we lose our compassion? When did we stop thinking of how valuable it is to be the healers and nurses that cleanse the wounds and apply healing ointments to the broken ones like the caring and nurturing of the Good Samaritan? Why is it we have become “preachers” and “defenders” and “judges” of our faith and our truth instead of letting our actions speak and show we are “healers”, “repairers” and “restorers”?
When we don’t concern ourselves with caring for our brothers and sisters, and are only concerned about “churchy” things and our reputation and what others say about us and forget to be involved in people’s lives building relationships and don’t care about helping them; we are not following after Christ teachings. It’s time-consuming, it’s hard work and requires energy to be kind, compassionate, to care and to make a difference in someone’s life, I know! But we must!
We must be willing to sacrifice some of our time, some of our money, some of our resources and we must be willing to get dirty, take some risks, lose our objectivity and forget making excuses and jump right in and do something.
When we do, “Then the Lord will be your delight He says, and will see to it that you ride high and get your full share of blessings in return….!”
~~~~~ Isaiah 58:14 The Living Bible
It’s time for us Christians to wake up, we need to arise from our sleep and get about our Fathers business of being the “light” in the dark world and igniting a fire in others so it can spread and do the same, doing what Jesus did and changing our world one life at a time. Time is short my friends and there is still so much to do to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Our days are numbered and we may not have the opportunity to share our “light” with that one person again. I ask you today, who is it that’s in your life right now that you can buy a cup of coffee for and talk for 30 minutes? Who is that could use a caring heart and listening ear? Who is in your office that would find an invitation for lunch so encouraging and maybe life-saving? What new parents could really use a date night and you babysit for them? Who is it that could use some help, their yard mowed, house cleaned, a meal prepared, grocery shopping or other errand run for them? Who is it that appears lost and don’t know who or where to turn? Who is it that needs you and what you have been hoarding? Who is it that needs to hear your voice, feel your touch, be encouraged by your visit and find the love of Christ in your presence?
I promise if you open your eyes and see, there is someone right in front of you who needs you. If you listen with open ears, you will hear the pain in their voice. If you open your compassionate heart and let God love through you, you will be the one after-all that is changed for the better.
Friends when we are healers, we are healed! When we listen, we are heard! When we see, we are seen! When we are encouragers, we are encouraged! When we exhort, we are lifted up! When we are friendly, we are never friendless! When we reach out, there is always someone to take our hand and walk along beside us!
Be compassionate today, stir it up in your heart and let Gods Hand touch your world through you!
Have an incredibly beautiful and love filled day and smile and make the difference, even in the smallest way can mean the whole world in someone’s life!
Tonya F. Henshaw
September 14, 2016