This week our nation is reeling from another terrible tragedy. And, the cacophony of voices offering solutions is loud. We definitely need legal protections for our citizens. We must address the mental health needs of our people. Ignoring or marginalizing the difficult ones among us must stop. Our children need to be protected.
And I certainly agree with the spiritual voices who recognize that ultimately these tragedies are the result of sin. I agree that laws will not push darkness away. Social programs, while helpful do not address the core needs of mankind. The hearts of men and women need the love of Christ. When personal salvation takes center stage, society changes for the better.
But even that spiritual voice of concern can too easily become background noise. It just all seems too much.
As I have been reflecting on it all, it occurs to me that I and maybe you just need to step back from the broader issues and ask, “What can I do?” “How can I personally be an agent for good?” So, here’s my suggestion: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, BE COMPASSIONATE and humble” (I Peter 3:8).
Be Compassionate. Now there is an assignment I believe we all can accomplish.
Yesterday, I was picking up some medicine at a pharmacy. While in line, I overheard an older gentleman ask the counter lady if anyone spoke Spanish. Off to the side, his wife was slumped over on the blood pressure machine and she needed help. Instead of trying to listen, the pharmacist just hollered out, “She doesn’t look good. Go to the doctor!”
Now I do not speak 10 words in Spanish, but I saw the dejected look on his face and I had a surge of compassion. I walked up and tried to hear him out. He showed me a series of blood pressure readings for his wife. Her pressure was significantly less each time.
Awkwardly, I listened, gave a medically unqualified facial response and urged them to see a doctor. She showed me her medicine and again I really couldn’t comment in any meaningful way. But I listened; tried to find a doctor’s number on the bottle. But all he could say was it was from immigration. Maybe that meant they got the medicine from a clinic. In the end, I really didn’t help them.
But our conversation ending with warm smiles, a touch on their arms, and an awareness that I had some compassion for their situation.
I offer that simple story not to applaud me, but to suggest that all of us can and MUST find ways every single day to be …”sympathetic, to love one another and to be compassionate and humble.”
I am confident it will help.