The word for the month is Compassion!
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, compassion (noun) is “the feeling or emotion, when a person is moved by the suffering or distress of another, and by the desire to relieve it.” It can also mean “suffering together with another.” In the Greek, it literally says that we feel it in our inward parts (and names them).
In other words, compassion is a full body experience, meant to draw us out of ourselves and into the life of another in order that we might walk with them through some form of trouble. For remember, we may be in a unique position to help, nevertheless, we are followers of Christ always choosing to serve another child of God, who bears God’s image as much as we do. (Important to remember, lest we forget and turn to unintended haughtiness.)
One of my sons’ favorite movies right now is called Big Hero Six. I highly recommend it. And the reason you likely have never heard of it is that Disney released it at nearly the same time as Frozen. Early on in the story, the main characters are faced with a terrible tragedy – a building is on fire. Inside is the older brother, Tadashi’s favorite professor. Before running off into the flames, he tells his little brother, “Someone has to help.” Now, Tadashi does not make it. However, his words have a profound impact on his little brother and friends, and all of us watching, including my little boys.
The message that they have learned from this remarkable movie is that if you are in a position to do something when something is going wrong or someone is getting hurt – do it. If you are in a place where you can help to gather up supplies and support your fellow humans who are going through tough times – do it. If there is anything happening around you where you can make a difference or help make it better – do it.
And that is the message that all of our young people are going to be learning at Compassion Camp this June! Yes, our VBS is just around the corner. Its biblical stories will draw out different types of compassion that we humans can and should have for one another (and even for ourselves sometimes). And our young ones will be growing in the love that God has given them, I have no doubt – both at home and especially when we all gather every evening on the lawn.
We do need your help in collecting certain supplies so that we can teach our younglings about some of the amazing ways our congregation spreads compassion out into the world – so be sure to check out our education section below.
More than anything, though, what I hope all of us will remember, as we move into these next few months that are so often filled with much rest and recreation, is that there are always places and ways we can show compassion to others. There are always ways we can be that someone who helps. We just have to keep our eyes open and look for the opportunities that are right before our eyes.
It is always the right time to have God’s compassion!
Blessings, Pastor Janie