Building Godly Compassion
We have a festival in our small town every summer called the Pickerel Tournament. It’s the biggest festival of the year and the town children look forward to it annually. My children used to save their money all year to go to it when they were younger, as it was the highlight of their summer.
One summer as I was passing by the carnival, I saw an amazing sight. On all the rides were handicapped persons from the area, having such a wonderful joyful time. They were laughing out in glee for the chance to reach the sky and to be a part of something they don’t usually have the chance to do by themselves. I asked the person running the fair what was going on. He said that the Lion’s Club sponsors them one day before the fair every year, helping them on and off the rides.
Honestly, it would bring tears to your eyes to watch the joy on their faces. What a wonderful opportunity for them!
Then it dawned on me. Where did they all come from? We hadn’t seen them around town very often. Yes, they have their handicapped parking space and their riding carts in the supermarkets, but in general, they seem to be invisible to the public. Sadly, when you are not seen, people tend to forget you. It’s our culture now to focus on ourselves (me, myself, and I). From cell phones to Blackberries, video games to recreational toys, it’s all about us. Amidst all the noise, it’s easy to forget them.
When someone is not visible, we tend to forget that they exist….but God doesn’t.
God’s admonishes us to look on the things of others as well as ourselves.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
God’s heart is that we remember those who are in need:
Ps 82:3 Defend the poor (weaker) and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy
Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
God says, when you have a nice dinner, invite those who are defenseless, those that no one considers. Those who cry out, “Remember Me Please.”
Lu 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou make a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.
Lu 14:13 But when thou make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
God holds that so dear to Him that he compares it to the sheep and the goat’s, separating them at His return, and He says to the goats who do not do this, I don’t know you!
Mt 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:
Mt 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mt 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mt 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick (more feeble, without strength), and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mt 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mt 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Mt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
This is the essence of God; this is His mind, His character. He wants us to be His sons and daughters, to be like Him!
The building of compassion towards the weaker of the world is paramount to being there in the Kingdom. It’s is essential that you bring your children out of this world of coveting and self-centeredness toward the love that Jesus and the Father have.
When my children were very young, we made cards and craft items together and brought them to a local nursing home. We asked the nurses at the desk which people would enjoy having the children talk to them, and we visited with those residents. The children loved to give away their creations and the older people just loved them and the personal visits. Anyone can do this. There are so many lonely people in the world, especially those out of sight, out of mind. God holds us responsible for being His arms and hands, to care for those who the world forgets. We are the light in a world of darkness, a world that disregards everyone but self. Let’s come out of that world and shine!
I used to take my children with me every week to visit a member of our church who was handicapped with multiple dystrophy. Many times I would see people walk around him at church, because they didn’t know what to say to him. I made a point to bring my children up to him and introduced them. They began to learn to be with those who are less fortunate, and we all built a bond with him. One time, we brought him to Cedar Point, putting him on the Ferris wheel etc. Oh my! What a wonderful smile he had on his face! What joy! To be part of that is such a wonderful treasure I will always hold dear to my heart.
There are so many ways all of us can reach out. We need each other. They need us. God needs us to care and to remember the cries of “Don’t Forget Me.”
Below is a poem I wrote while we were visiting Frank years ago. I hope that you will seriously think about this work of love, as you will be filled with the love of God and truly be a child of God.
(You’ve Taught Me Well)
There was a man named Frank McBride
Who often said to me
“Come close to me and give a hug
I’m handicapped you see.”
“For I would do it if I could
But now I’ll have to ask you
But still I need it just the same
And someday I will thank you.”
There is a part of all of us
That’s handicapped you see
Be sensitive and be aware
And listen carefully.
To silent pleas of other’s hearts
They ask it with their eyes
E’en though their voice can’t utter it
Inside the person cries
So be aware you’ve got a part
Before His great return
To show His love to every man
So gradually we learn
That God is not so far from us
As voice and arms can show
For we are all God’s messengers
His love we’ll come to know