I just returned from a short visit to La Canada Presbyterian Church’s family camp. They invited me to enjoy the full week and although my schedule would not allow one week, I did find time to stay one day and night before assisting with a Homeless Family Simulation project. We divided everyone into five groups with five different outcomes as I presented the groups with a common challenge for our homeless friends. Each group needed to raise enough money in a short time period of time to move from living in a car to getting a motel room, a shower, and a good night’s rest, for a change. I was supposed to arrive and teach, but I learned more than I taught.
During the first evening, I shared the story of Irvin, a man who has gone from living on the streets near death for 7 years, to being a healthy, strong, tremendous member of our maintenance department at Union Rescue Mission. I shared how a simple cold bottle of water and Christ’s compassion made a big difference in Irvin’s life. I shared that our mission and my opportunity here is to love the folks that the rest of the world has given up on. After I finished my short talk, Bill Robinson, the President of Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington spoke.
Bill delivered a powerful message and one that I needed to hear. He told the audience that it was not just Irvin who needed the compassion of Christ, but that everyone we meet has hurts and brokenness, even if they don’t appear to, and that each encounter we have presents an opportunity to share the compassion and love of Christ. In fact, Bill eloquently shared that it is not proof of the Gospel or apologetics that will win doubters to Christ, but that a combination of proclaiming the Gospel and sharing the compassion of Christ that will have the most powerful effect. I have to admit that it is a easy and a natural tendency of mine to quickly share compassion with hurting folks on the streets, while I sometimes struggle to show that same compassion to folks who appear to have it all together. I’ve determined in my heart to love each and every person I meet with the compassion of Christ. Andy B.
Who do you find it easy to show compassion?
Who do you find it is difficult to show compassion to?