Soul Danger

Posted: March 1, 2013 in Compassion

JosieDo we really know what it is to be in need? Do we know how it feels to be really cold and not be able to get warm? I never cease to be saddened that these issues are present here in our community! This is America, after all! I interviewed a family this week who needed help with their electric bill. As we visited, I discovered the conditions they endured daily in a home that had no heating system! For a small two bedroom trailer, they used a very small heater that had broken so the fan no longer blew warm air. Not only that, but six people lived in this home! The walls were barely over an inch thick. I thought about what I do when I wake up cold in the night. How accessible an extra blanket is. How easy it is to simply turn up the furnace a degree or two. I struggled with the question, “how do I simply offer a payment on a utility bill and not also offer one of my blankets? Don’t I also look for a working heater that will fill her home with warm air?” I am praying God will speak to me and show me how his body, the Church, can come alongside this family with very real help that demonstrates a Kingdom justice. Maybe God will even use us!

To walk away from issues such as these, hardens my soul to the biblical mandate to care for others. I John 3:17 makes it plain. If I fail to allow a gut level reaction to a person in need that compels me to share, how can God’s love be in me?

It is easy to insulate ourselves from those things that sting or make us uncomfortable. But that is a danger to our souls. Jesus looked on the crowds and had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:6) He felt something stir within his bowels. To be a Christ follower, we take on his lifestyle, his truths that lead us to a Kingdom mentality that is concerned about the welfare of people in need. We do not turn away as ones who have nothing to offer. We have the Kingdom of God even in the simplest of material goods. Perhaps we offer the Kingdom in our time and our concern. A touch while we offer a prayer. A bowl of soup from our lunch. A sharing of moments of time are just as important as a blanket. BUT! Sharing a prayer and driving away in a brand new SUV is not justice. A harsh statement, I know, but must be said!

To live the spiritual discipline of simplicity means we hold loosely to the things God blesses us with so that we share easily with others. It is tangible as well as spiritual. We must not divorce the two. True religion that loves God is demonstrated in physical ways as we offer to share our lives and possessions.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth.”
~I John 3:18 NIV


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