America’s Need–Compassion

I hadn’t read much of her material lately, but this morning when I went to the blog of my friend Jana McVay, I was jolted by one of her columns. I strongly encourage you to read this powerful, moving account.

Individually, we have so much…while around us, often unrecognized, or sadly, even unheeded, is such abject need. Perhaps too often, we link compassion with distant lands, or big city ghettos or government projects, or church missionary endeavors, or Salvation Army kettles. Individually, we need to be filled with compassion–compassion that will set groceries on the porch of an elderly neighbor (even when it is not a holiday) or press dollars into the hands of a young mother, or pay the utility bills of a challenged friend or of a stranger. Some of us could support a struggling home missionary for a year–not through a bona-fide Home Missions department, but straight from a heart of compassion for that man…and for the lost of his city. Individually we may speak comfort to someone in an emergency waiting room, or pay the charge for someone’s prescription refill, or walk a crying baby through a torturous dark night of a single mom. Some of us, as was Jana McVay, will be startled by the raw need of one person with whom we have contact. Some, as was Jana, will be moved by compassion. Some, as did Jana, will act on those compassionate feelings.

America’s need is compassion.

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My devotional blog is here.

10 thoughts on “America’s Need–Compassion

  1. Jana McVay

    Sis. Buxton,
    Thank you for your kind words and post as a result of reading my blog post. I am still trying to reach the young lady whom I wrote about. She has been missing class and I am afraid she may be dropping out. Keep me in your prayers, please!

    How neat to read your report on meeting Bro. Wiggins and hearing of his great need to be back in Spain doing the work of the Lord! He was in Rialto Sunday morning and blessed us with singing (he on guitar and his wife and daughter singing) and a Word from the Lord. The stories he shared about the things God has been doing in Spain were incredible and exciting. Our church took an offering and now Bro. Wiggins will have enough to go back by the end of the month!! It is so wonderful to be part of the work of God, even when we don’t actually see the people that are being won! Rialto will be helping to support Bro. Wiggins in his endeavors to win the people of Spain.

    Per chance, did he tell you about the first person he spoke with in the states and what transpired? If not, I would love to share it with you. Very inspiring and amazing!!

    Love you,
    Jana McVay

    Good morning, Jana–

    Yes, Brother Wiggins did tell of the first person he spoke with after returning to the states. Quite a story. On my devotional blog today I will be relating another experience he had in Spain.

    I’m praying with you about the young lady in your class.

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  2. Good morning, Jay–

    Your excellent comment is “dead on,” and acutely resonates with my recent thinking.

    I’m in Crestline right now. On the way here yesterday after our service in Lake Havasu, we attended the Sunday night service of our dear friends, Paul and Liz Walker who pastor in Desert Hot Springs. A missionary, Tim Wiggins, was the visiting preacher.

    Tim Wiggins is on the Aim Program of the UPCI. As I understand it, an “Aim” missionary differs only in two respects from a “regular” missionary: 1. He must raise his own support 2. He has no retirement benefits.

    After the outstanding service, we ministry families gathered in the fellowship hall for sandwiches, and some great conversation, during which time, Brother Wiggins told of several individual cases of generosity that have contributed to his support. He is hoping to have his entire budget raised by the first of May. Last year when his family lived in Spain, they functioned with no private vehicle–using public transportation and walking.

    Now, someone has heard of that need and has promised to buy them a car.

    I’ll be posting more around these things, but I have time constraints today…flying to Seattle for a meeting tomorrow.

    A direct answer to the question you have posed is that I believe lasting compassion will always depend on the individual. Although united efforts are helpful and I believe make it easier in some areas, nothing will ever replace individual burdens, and a comprehension that to a great extent the progression of the people around me–their physical, emotional and spiritual welfare depends on my response.

    I’m not being fair to this subject, and of course, it must be understood that ultimately God is the answer…but He works through people…through you and through me.

    Thank you for your concern and your thoughtful response.

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  3. Wow! Catherine, YOU are an inspiration to me, as well! What a an awesome report! I want to ask you tons of questions, though. Can I call you? My email is down right now. 😦 I will email you later when I’m back up, okay?

    God bless you and those who helped! I say you should rest today, too. 🙂 Love you.

    Thanks, Sis. Buxton, for letting me talk to Catherine here.

    Tena, nothing pleases me more than to think this little space in the world could in some way contribute to the expansion of the work of God. Go for it! Just keep us in the loop. 🙂

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  4. I’d like to raise a question to you and your readers. Can compassion be institutional? Is it possible for compassionate individuals to form a program that is in and of it self compassionate? My estimation is that such a program can not exist. Compassion is a human emotion, and when we a christians begin a program instead of tackling a problem on an individual level, the compassion dissapears. Leaving in its wake a well meaning, possibly need meeting, program.

    I would put forth the idea that in order to meet the needs of this world in a compassionate way it must be done on an individual basis. Any government or even church program will eventually fail to be compassionate because as individuals we will begin to identify with the program rather than the need.

    With all the advancements in communication and program building in churches we may have gotten away from the base of Christianity which is the compassionate heart. Can you bear as a church goer to see your program dismantled in order to make way for the compassionate individual?

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  5. Well Sister Buxton, here is the report for today’s Sunday School. Out of the 16 children committed to come with us today, 13 came – last week we had 13 also.
    It was wonderful. They cried, prayed and sought God. Several came very close to receiving the Holy Ghost.
    After lunch, some of the younger girls and I lingered at the table and talked about it. They were so excited. We ended up worshiping right there!
    The S.S. teachers tell me of they hunger – how precious!
    Last week during lunch, my good neighbor turned on me, enter my home, got in my face, called the police etc… and join forces with another neighbor. I wasn’t surprised. Only where it came from because I understand that there will be opposition.
    Today I made a plate of sweet strawberries and fresh cookies and knocked on their doors. One refused it, the other was touched and took it.
    I could write much more – but this is the main points of the day. I want to thank my daughter for her help. I shopped last night – she cooked and set up today – our guests helped clean up and I washed and put away. All the leftovers went home with the children.
    Tonight we had an awesome service, the power of God took over and the visitors all prayed and some received the Holy Ghost. We didn’t sit down! Now I am wiped out. But what a great day in the Lord!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    About reaching in, yes, we must meet the need of the present members. If we cannot take care of the ones we have, we’ll not get more – how would we take care of new ones?
    This morning Pastor Pryor preached how I prayed late last night. Passion. Got to have it.
    Now I’m going to Sis Tracy’s blog to see how their Sunday went.

    YOU are an inspiration to me. What a dynamite report–want to hear more of your progress in the future. You’d better take the day off today, though. We have to take care of these bods.

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  6. Sis. Buxton, the word “compassion” gets my attention every time, because I ask God to help me have more of it every day. I ask Him to help me to be like Jesus – when He looked at the multitudes, He was moved with compassion. Oh, how I want to be moved with compassion when I look at people.
    Matt. 9:36 – But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

    Being moved with compassion will make you do things you wouldn’t normally do. Like, give a $20 bill to a homeless person, stop and talk to a lonely person, take a dinner to a sick family, call a hurting friend, encourage someone who is down, smile at a frown, then see the frown turn into a smile, give away blankets to poor, cold children, give away turkeys, etc.
    Jude 1:22 – And of some have compassion, making a difference:
    Oh, how I want to make a difference in people’s lives.

    Do I want God to have mercy on me? Then I must have mercy on people, for what we do to people, we are doing it unto Jesus.
    Ps. 86:15 – But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

    Here’s another profound scripture regarding compassion:
    I John 3:17 – But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

    Just supplying material goods to the needy isn’t the most important, though, feeding their soul is. I want to look into someone’s eyes and see the hurt and the loneliness and share the love of Jesus with them. That is the greatest act of compassion I can give someone.

    Sorry this is so long. I could talk about this subject for many hours. I suppose it’s because God has put it in my heart. One more thing, please:
    On two commandments hang all the law. The second – thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself.

    Have a great Sunday! I love you!

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  7. I to think compassion should not be relegated for the “good ole” days. You are probably aware our church is a church of great outreach. However ,we also feel strongly about “inreach”. We will never reach those outside the walls if we can’t bear the burden of those inside the walls. Often meeting the needs of inreach & outreach is challenging. There are simply so many needs.

    Tracie, I understanding your feelings. There simply ARE so many needs, and people who are sincere about sharing often feel overwhelmed. We must all do what we can, encourage others to join in meeting such needs, then turn it over to Jesus, relaxing in His love and mercy.

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  8. My heart is taken by those hurting, especially children. What more can I do? Tomorrow, 16 are committed to come with my daughter and I. We are getting help for rides – and then we’ll have lunch all together, my house. I am asking God to help me for wisdom.
    You are right, the more He gives me, the more I give. Isn’t it what it’s all about? For the Kingdom.

    Catherine, your generous, caring heart is showing. God will supply your needs, both in the physical sense, and certainly with wisdom. Let us know how it goes tomorrow. I’m interested in knowing.

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  9. I remember the days at church when someone would shake your hand, and a $20 bill would be left in it – then you’d think of someone you felt in greater need and it would travel on to another hand, and after that perhaps another hand. So many would leave groceries on a porch. Those were the good old “compassion” days, that must be resurrected today if we are to please God. Appreciate your post, and Jana McVay’s.

    How is it possible, Karen, that a compassionate spirit has been relegated to the “good old days?” Should it not be the other way around, should we not give more, serve more, care more–since most of us have greater opportunities, more money, and thus more ability to meet these needs. God help us–God help me to share what I have with the needy around my space.

    Thank you for all you do…for caring, for having compassion.

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  10. “If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”

    –Martin Luther King, Jr., “CONSCIENCE AND THE VIETNAM WAR” in The Trumpet of Conscience (1968)

    Especially ugly is “power without compassion.”

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