Compassion is one of those things that when we are on the receiving end of it’s great, when people have a genuine concern for us. But the opposite of that is true, it can be great to be compassionate. And yet compassion often is costly. Compassion is having a genuine concern for someone, it’s seeing the plight and suffering of others and being moved into action. The etymology of the word compassion is a suffering with another/ to share the affliction with another.
Small interactions when we’re intentional can really turn someone’s day around, can’t they. I love going to the shop with some of the children in my family, because when we go to leave, they always say to the person at the checkout, ‘Thank you. Hope you have a good day’. The majority of the time, this elicits, the biggest smile from the person serving. Some are even quite taken back, by those few simple words.
We can be really creative in how we encourage one another, so why not give it a go this week, (you don’t have to bake, do something you think will bring that person joy). It would be awesome to hear testimonies of Zeo family being encouraged by one another.
We can have patience, when in our own strength we have none.
We can have grace that abounds.
A love for those people who before would have got right up our nose. But we have a choice to make, we need to press into Jesus, we need to practice those giftings.
Let’s be willing to approach all our relationships in this humility, with the knowledge that we are strong and weak, that we are right and wrong, that we can shine with wisdom and kindness in one moment, and then darken the doors of stupidity and spite the next. We have the joy and privilege of building people up, and the ever-present risk of blowing people up. Here are three truths I’ve discovered.
That sensation of ‘free-falling’ seems to last forever – even if it’s just a few excruciating seconds. But then, something brilliant thankfully happens. Before you crash to the ground, the bungy kicks in and now you’re no longer falling, now your flying! It’s a very different feeling – and it’s very cool. From falling to flying. It reminds me of these words in Isaiah 40:31
It’s funny how we’ve over-complicated prayer; how we’ve made it a ‘thing’, where we feel intimidated at the thought of praying out loud for someone. And yet prayer is truly one of the simplest and most beautiful gifts we can offer someone. To speak our own honest words to God, for someone, to bless, encourage, comfort, and strengthen. The goal is not to ‘get it right’ – the goal is to ‘keep it real’.
Even Jesus had three closest friends (armour bearers) in Peter, James and John who walked most closely with Him in both the best and worst of times. This is why we’re passionate about everybody in the Zeo family being part of a small huddle of friends who do life and faith together. Three to four people who connect regularly to encourage, strengthen, challenge and commit to journey together.
The family of God is vast, unique, and diverse, encompassing beautiful expressions of colour and culture gathered together. Thousands will unite in a field in Somerset and – in the midst of all the fun, food, games, activities, movies, silent discos, craft workshops, new friendships, and late night snack chats – lives will be changed by Jesus, including for many of our young people.
I suppose, given that Jesus is God, he could have effortlessly transported everyone to a place of abundant provision. But instead, Jesus opted to perform a miracle in the midst of the desolate place. That’s what struck us! Jesus didn’t take them out of the desolate place, but He generously provided for them whilst they were still there!