I just started a new book by David Platt called Counter Culture. He is breaking down nine areas that our culture has basically allowed to become social norms. The book has me thinking a lot about the word compassion and how to be compassionate in a world that is broken and without compassion.
First, compassion moves us to action not anger. We as Christ’s disciples have to realize that he didn’t call us to be angry at the world but he called us to love it. This doesn’t mean we must keep silent about issues but there is a right way to standup for what you believe and protesting isn’t one of them. We have killed our witness over social media platforms because of us “protesting” in the name of Christ. It is easier to protest against someone than to love them. We have gotten really good at protesting but lack in love.
Second, everyone is called to be compassionate not just a few people. I do not like when you people say, “Daniel, you are so compassionate.” It makes me upset because it is almost like they are saying “thank you for doing my part as a disciple for me”. Compassion is a call for everyone. The issues and the cries of this world should break your heart. It shouldn’t make you look around and encourage people that are living out a compassionate life. Your encouragement doesn’t replace your responsibility to be compassionate.
Third, GET INVOLVED! Nothing makes me more upset than people that talk about an issue but aren’t doing anything to help. The world has seen enough talkers, they are looking for doers. Your greatest witness to the world is to show them you care further than your pew seat. Pews keep making the Christian church more comfortable while the world is crying out. Don’t be afraid to get involved in someone else’s mess.
Don’t be a bystander anymore. Get involved in some mess. It is time that we quit making the word compassionate about how big of a check we write. Checks don’t replace your compassionate duties. My prayer is that we don’t just write checks but get involved with the place our check is going towards. What would happen if we activated compassionate loving disciples in a broken and dying world?
Saturday was an awesome day for our Elevation family! It was a very unique day at Crossover. First, we only have been doing our own Crossover route for almost two months now and it has been nothing short of amazing! We have been meeting a lot of great people and building relationships but last Saturday was special!
It was Margie’s birthday! Margie was the very first person we met when we started the Crossover route. We had no clue who we would meet or if they would be open to us talking to them. She was very sweet and friendly when we approached her. She was sitting outside enjoying the weather. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that we found out her birthday was in November.
Margie was turning eighty-one and surprisingly her birthday fell on the same day as our Crossover route time. We had asked her the week before what her favorite cake was and she told us. Two of the girls from Elevation baked her a cake and she even had candles for the cake (great idea! You can tell the girls had this all planned out). It wasn’t anything huge but a simple cake and card. She answered the door and we all said, “Happy Birthday”. She invited us into her home (this was a first). We told her we had a card and cake for her. We lit the candles and started to sing “Happy Birthday” and tears of joy came down her face. It was a special moment for everyone in the room. She gave us all a hug and told us, “thank you”. We went onto the next house but my heart pondered that moment the entire day. I never would have thought such a simple act could bring so much joy.
I began to think and wonder, when was the last time she got a cake or card from someone that had only known her for a few months? I am not trying to brag about what we do but all I am saying is that anyone could provide a simple act of kindness moment. I believe we make serving so complicated when something so simple as a cake and card could be remembered forever. The other cool part was that her son was there. I was able to talk to him for a few minutes and he said, “You all almost had me in tears. You all just made her day.” I learned another important lesson that day. It is not about how much we give but how much we care when we give. People do not care what you have they just want to know you care. The greatest gift you can give someone is showing him or her you care. If you want to change the community you are planted in then all you have to do is showing them you care.
My hope is that this will encourage you to do simple acts of kindness to those around you. You just never know what will happen or the relationship that could be formed from that encounter. Don’t make serving complicated, keep it simple and see what happens.