It sometimes surprises and amazes me to see the compassion people have for others. We find compassion literally everywhere, but sometimes we don’t recognize it. It becomes such a part of our normal, regular environment that we ignore it and do not give it the credit it deserves.
Today a very important thought came to my mind. (Take cover! This could be dangerous!) I observed how compassion seems actually to be in our nature. It is not something we have because it has been taught to us. Compassion comes from the heart, and I believe we all have that compassion deep within us.
Let me give you a few examples of what I mean. Yesterday, as I was traveling the streets of Madera, I saw in the distance a fire engine with all its lights flashing. It was headed in my direction, so I drove to the curb on my right to let the fire engine pass. Behind me was a car in which the driver did the same thing. This is kind of a “rule of the road,” to veer to the right to let an emergency vehicle have plenty of room to be able to pass without any burdens in the way. A rule. Yes, it is a rule of the road, but I believe that most of us would do it even if it weren’t a rule. That’s because we recognize that someone is in trouble, and we care enough to make a way for those who can help. It takes only a few seconds to let them pass.
This past week a member of our church was in trouble and needed help from the congregation. Our congregation was amazing in how they acted and reacted to this need. This confirms once again my own awareness about the love and support of a church family. I am very sorry for people who do not have that sense of belonging to a “home” of faith with a “family” who cares for others.
Another strong piece of evidence of compassion in our community is how we respond to needs that are not only within our community, but also reaching out into other communities and the world. There are several organizations here that do good works because of the compassion they have for others. There are many service organizations within the borders of our county, in addition to the many churches that reach out to help others in need.
On Saturday, June 1, Madera United Methodist Church on Sunset Avenue will host an event called “Rise Against Hunger,” at which packets of food are assembled into meals to send to a needy community. The people of the church contributed during Lent this year for this project. In 2017, the church hosted its first RAH event, exceeded its goal by more than double the amount, and packaged 21,600 meals. Seventy-five people of our community volunteered to participate. It was a great event for the church and for the community. If you are interested in participating this year, you may sign up on the Rise Against Hunger website at http://events.riseagainsthunger.org/MaderaUMC. You may also donate through this link.
Compassion is not just a good feeling we have toward others; it is kindness and a willingness to help one another. We all have at least a bit of it in our hearts. The benefits of compassion are of value not only to the recipients of assistance, but also to the givers of the love and support of those in need. When we are compassionate, we reap rewards, and so compassion can be addicting.
Try to be conscious of the compassion around you, not just what directly affects you, but also the displays of kindness by others.
— My love to all,
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“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
— Matthew 5:16