Not Just Churchy Compassion

Mark 2:3-4

No really–have the compassion to connect others to Christ!

A number of years ago, I went to Windermere as a cabin counselor for children’s camp. Since I’m headed off to children’s camp today, my history in that endeavor is on my mind. One day during that long-ago summer, one of my boys came to me and announced that he had prayed to receive Christ–on his own–at the hilltop chapel overlooking the camp. Honestly, I don’t remember how I responded to that news, but I’d like to think I was properly celebratory.

It was several years later, when that ten-year-old had become an older teen, that he took his own life. I’m not sure what difficulties, what pains, what obstacles led him down that road. Honestly, I had very few dealings with him after that camp.

Was he really saved or did he just say something that would please church people? I don’t know, but that’s perhaps why the matter sticks in my mind. If I really cared for this kid, I would have maintained the connection. If I really care for him, I would be much more certain whether his experience was genuine. But I didn’t follow up. I don’t know.

We say things. “I’m praying for you!” “Just trust God to work it out!” We say things–churchy things–but sometimes we don’t back those things up with actions. Sometimes we fail to pray–or to pray enough. Sometimes we are supposed to be part of the way God works that problem out.

I don’t feel as if that boy’s death is lying at my feet. But I do know that I should have been more of a friend, more of a connection for him than I was.

  • What sort of “churchy” things are you guilty of saying and not acting upon?
  • What people’s connections to Christ should you not only initiate but maintain?
  • Pray that God will open your eyes to the genuine compassion that will help others build a strong connection to Jesus.

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