Recently, I have been thinking about Christian compassion. This thinking has been spurred because I have taken on the task of co-directing the local food pantry. If you have never been involved in a food pantry, it is a great place to volunteer and know that you are making a difference in people’s lives!
When I was asked to take this on, I took some time to find out if this was something God wanted me to do and to see if I really wanted to do it. It is a pretty significant commitment and I wanted to be sure I could carry out my part of the job. One of the things that I really had to figure out was why I would do this. It is not a paid position. It takes quite a bit of time. There is a bit of stress involved as the pantry isn’t funded very well. Why would I do it?
I came up with several reasons to take on this responsibility. First and foremost, I took it on because I feel like God called me to take it on. If I am not obedient to Him, everything else I do is wasted. Second, I take seriously Christ’s command to love others. The verse that kept coming mind was, “Then the upright will say to him in reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?’ And the King will answer, ‘In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:37-40 (NJB)
Christian compassion is showing our love for God by loving other people. Each person that walks through the door of the food pantry is a creation of God. They may have made some poor choices to get into the situation they are in, or something catastrophic may have happened to bring them to this point of life. Either way, God calls us to love them. One of the ways we do that is by giving them food.
Now, I don’t believe that this is all we are called to do. I know that God has called us to help those who want it to become more self-sufficient. There are plans to begin to implement some things that will help people in this way. The reason we do this is the same. As we love people, we are showing our love for God.
There is much more to say about this and I will in future posts. I’ve gotta go…there are people waiting to be fed!