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Week Two of our devotional was written by Chet Marshall who is a long- time partner with MBF through the Langhorne Presbyterian Church and is also on the missions committee. We are thankful for his willingness to share through very personal experiences and know that it will bless you.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
com· pas· sion (noun) - to suffer with
In 2004 I took my first mission trip to Guatemala. Our team set up medical clinics in small highland villages that had no doctors. There was lots of suffering among the patients we saw. The doctors were able to help some of those who suffered so much; for others no treatment was possible. It was difficult to see such suffering.
I returned to Guatemala in the next year and again saw so much suffering. After two years of coming home depressed, I decided that the next trip I would not get emotionally involved or show compassion to the patients. It was just too draining spiritually and physically. I would just count pills to fill the prescriptions and stay aloof.
The next trip I was doing great. Keeping my head down, just doing my job, when one of the doctors asked me how much of a strong pain medicine we had. When I told him, he said he was sending over a patient with stomach cancer who did not have long to live. Later as I handed the medicine to the elderly lady she took my hand, smiled, thanked me and said, “God bless you.” I started to lose it emotionally and had to leave the building. After a good cry, I composed myself and went back to work. This time making eye contact with every patient, touching their hand and saying God loves you. Lesson learned: You can’t be a Christian and not be compassionate.
This week spend time in reflection on how and when you show Christian compassion. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you little things that you can change in your routine, and try them out! See what happens as you allow God to lead you through your day.
Dear Father, thank you for allowing me to participate in your redemptive work in the world. As I prepare for a new day, help me see the world through Your eyes and look for opportunities where Your compassion is needed. Also in the places where You want me to act, please give me the courage, grace, and strength to be obedient and reflect Your love for others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.