Words can move a heart to feeling but compassion moves a life into being. It's easy to be moved by the stories of the evening news with all of the horrific, tragic, and scary situations. Although the news can seem unrealistic with being on television, doesn't effect my community, or my daily life. What happens if it does? How do you respond to the cry of the innocent who are being victimized or taken advantage of? Do you ignore the cry? Do you believe someone else or government agencies will take care of it? What if the only option to help the person is YOU?
Just recently, I was faced with this situation, the person's name will not be shared. A friend from church offered me a job to assist an elderly gentleman who is not able to care for himself. This gentleman is a veteran who fought in the cold war, has two grown daughters, and worked very hard in his life. Besides two cancer spots on his back, this man is completely healthy for being eighty-four. Right now, he is deterating during the finally stages of life but he always makes me smile. He calls me, "Babe." This nickname doesn't bother me, it brings light into his eyes because he knows I care.
As I started to care for this man, I couldn't ignore the horriable mess of what was occurring in his life. Before I was hired, a neighbor down the street (two houses down) was assisting this elderly man. Although the neighbor hired me, he wasn't allowed to enter the house because of an investigation of fraud, stealing over 40,000 dollars, and numerous other tragic acts of injustice. My heart was outraged to learn all of the details of this injustice. My first week on the job, I met the elderly man's daughter who flew out of state to come assist her dad. Through the accounts of the daughter and the police detective, I learn just exactly what happened, I can't wait for justice to be served. Compassion doesn't just move the heart but it must take the hand of the hurting, get involved in their mess, and see the hurting to victory. Sadly, I believe we are neglecting the hurting cries for relief because we don't have a heart of compassion. Regardless of where you live, a soul is a soul who needs the love of Jesus.
Just as we got the gate opened, a neighbor across the street just came back from the store. She came to our rescue and allowed Charlie to stay while I tried to figure out the next move. Charlie's daughter had to get to the courthouse to take care of the paperwork or it would be worse. Finally, I was able to get a phone to call a locksmith to the house. As you are laughing at my expense, I have a heart wrenching question, "What do you do?" "Would you have done the same?"
It's easy to "feel sorry" for Charlie or to say, "What a horrible story!" At this moment, I had to really place my faith into action. Compassion can move your heart but if it doesn't move your feet, it's only empty words. If we are to impact this world for Jesus, we have to get our hands dirty. Some may disagree with me but I believe God called me to minister to Charlie and his family. As the daughter shared with her family of the horrible details of her father's affairs, she was attacked verbally by her sibling. This family who was victimized by a deceitful man decided to attack each other instead of being joined for justice. Sadly, one of Charlie's daughters is a minister who hasn't called, come to visit her dad, or to my knowledge get involved. As the days passed, Charlie's daughter who I assisted said, "It's like night and day to talk to you and my sister." "I just can't get over the difference, thank you for being here." Honestly, I could have quit my job but I believe God had another assignment for me. If I gave the love of Jesus, I gave everything to them. I can't walk away from a family who is hurting, distraught, or frightened with enormous difficulites.
Justice will be served for this neighbor very shortly, I am eagerly waiting. So many different emotions arise inside my heart, I want justice for Charlie. According to the detective, everything will be restored back to Charlie with extra monies. Although my employment was short lived, my love for Christ will make an eternal impact to this family. On the other hand, I can't get this uneasiness out of my heart, what if I was to show the love of Christ to Charlie's neighbor? Who does Christ want you to minister too? Is it the angry boss behind the desk who's marriage is falling apart? Is it the old lady next door who smiles at you? She is eagerly wanting to share her story or receipe to escape the lonliness inside her heart. If we are to have a heart of compassion, we have to move our feet. Who is God calling you too? It might be the person sitting right next to you, it's something to pray about.