I have been moved to think a lot about this word just lately. It started with a blog posting by Lysa TerKeurst. Since I read Lysa’s post requesting help for the children of Liberia, I have been praying about my level of compassion. I have been seeking God’s direction for how I can better utilize my spiritual gifts, my talents, and my abilities, to reach out to others in ‘compassion’ to share the great news of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ.
Then, my thinking and my heart were challenged yet again today by the sermon message at church entitled: “When the Holy Spirit Empowers the Church – Inspired to Influence,” which was presented by our youth pastor, Tom Buchanan. Our main scripture reference was, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 But the challenge of the day was simply this; “What are some of the things our church body, you and I, willing to do to make a difference for the cause of Christ? How can we reach out to show “compassion”?”
Personally, I have been kicking around an idea that I feel has been laid upon my heart by the Holy Spirit. I am still formulating a plan in my mind as to how I can utilize some of my talents, skills, abilities and spiritual gifts. I feel God gently urging me to use my talent for writing, my ability to take photographs, my skill at organization and desktop publishing, and my spiritual gift of teaching to develop a tool to focus attention on ways that people can be more compassionate. I may post more about this idea if I continue to feel that the idea is from God, and if He leads me to proceed.
However, no matter whether this ‘idea’ turns into a workable and doable thing or not, I know that I am called to reach out with compassion to share with others the love of Christ. I am realizing that although I do not always have the monetary means of expressing compassion and to meet expressed needs by providing $$ support, I can meet needs in other ways. In fact, for me to not seek out ways to do so would be a sin of omission.
Further, as I ponder this accountability to compassion I had some thoughts as to how I, and possibly you, can start simply.
· Cook my husband’s favorite meal, to express gratitude for being “head-of-the-household”
· Spend an extra 30-minutes of uninterrupted, focused attention with my child(ren) this week, just to connect and bond
· Change out my husband’s clothing – put away winter things, pull out the spring and summer things
· Pack up a bag of unused clothing (from the sort above) and take them to the donation center
· Visit an elderly person in a nearby convalescent home
· Take a hot meal to a family with a loved one in the hospital or having to attend therapy or treatments of some type
· Volunteer to baby-sit for a couple who have no family in the immediate area
This list is by no means exhaustive; get creative, and have fun coming up with ways to express your compassion!
Sometimes, in the midst of our busy lives we forget to extend compassion to those in our own communities or more importantly to those living within the four walls we call home. We can start small by extending compassion to those most important to us and build up to broaden our circle of reach. It is all about a shift in the attitude of our heart and then putting feet to our faith.