Letting yourself care
I found myself moved and challenged on Sunday when one of our diploma graduates shared his story.
He spoke about travelling through a little country town near Poatina on his way here for training and wondering who on earth would ever care about a place like that.
He then spoke about discovering his diploma placement was actually to that area and praying that God would let his heart be affected by the community.He now loves that town. Speaking to me earlier he said “I could never walk away from it, hey”..
In the space of 18 months, that graduate has had a significant impact on that town. Quite a number of young people have not only come to faith, they have risen to leadership in their community.
Parents too, have become involved and there is real momentum.
I think I saw again just how important it is to let yourself feel.
I was just reading in Romans 9 how Paul admitted to carrying a continual low-lying grief for his people:
I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. (Romans 9:1-4)
At another point when he was in Athens we see how Paul lets himself be affected by the city:
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. (Acts 17:16)
I love that the shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept”. The Son of God, too, let himself be impacted by the people he was caring for.
As I listened to the graduate sharing, I was reminded how easy it is to develop an intellectual and distant approach to people.. its safer. There is less chance of being hurt.
I realise though, how much more effective I am when I am present and I care.
I pray that God will help keep my heart open to those he is calling me to serve. Will you join me in a prayer like that?