The woman’s world had just fallen apart. Her son, who was deathly allergic to bee stings, had been doing lawn work when he came upon a nest of ground bees. He never even made it to the house for his Epi-pen.
While the woman and her family grieved over his death, the local Jehovah’s Witnesses heard of the tragedy and sent meals to her home, reaching out lovingly with genuine concern.
This shocked the woman. She was Catholic, and her church made no such efforts. Before long, she had joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses and was going door to door with them, sharing her story.
The Message of Compassion
I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness, nor do I ever intend to be, but when I heard this story about a woman in my own community, it resonated deeply with me.
What did the woman see in the Jehovah’s Witnesses that she did not see in the other area churches? What message did she receive from simple acts of compassion?
The Heart of Christ
Is it possible that so many of us can get the doctrines of Christianity so right—and at the same time, miss the heart of Christ so completely? When Christ was on the earth, He was the friend of strangers. People outside of Judaism received His compassion. People outside of hope and outside of God’s kingdom were touched by His hands.
People don’t notice Christianity when it stays in the church, but they notice Christ when He’s on the streets. It is easy to dismiss and ignore Christianity when it remains inside the body of believers. It is impossible to ignore Christianity when it reaches into the heart of the community in active compassion.
We rob ourselves of the means to effectively communicate the Good News of Christ when we limit our outreach to activities in the church, rather than active service in the community. If the body and emotions are strengthened, how much more ready might the ears be to hear?
If we only care for those within our own church family, if we only notice the needs of those within our own social circles, if we only engage in ministries that are pre-existing and pre-approved—we will miss Christ when He stands on our doorstep.
Question: In what practical ways can we demonstrate Christ-like compassion, both as a church and as individuals?
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.