Thursday, March 11, 2010

Two Tents of Compassion

The full bearded stranger walked in from the backporch on a cold Sunday morning for a cup of java. Someone came outside to tell me he wanted to talk to "the pastor." I refilled my cup of java and sat down at the table with Luke to hear his story.

Eight years ago he walked away from a life of drug and alcohol addiction. He sold all he had and hit the streets to minister to the homeless and addicts. He was wanting $36 to buy a tent so he could minister to the homeless west of town.

I told him I don't give out cash. I did tell him that if he was willing to stay through the service I would seek God out in what to do to help him get a tent.
He stayed...sat in the back of the balcony with his friend Dan...I prayed and listened...preached on compassion...after the message felt led to get Luke his tent... publicly held Luke accountable to bring back a receipt...he agreed...challenged the people to give $1 or whatever to the tent cause...after the service the altar had some money on it.

There was not enough raised to meet the one tent challenge. Instead, the compassionate people of the church contributed enough funds for TWO TENTS, provisions and campground fees for two weeks!!!

I was humbled: to meet a man of sacrificial compassion like Luke, to serve a church with such a compassionate heart...Compassionate Community UMC is our new name!

I am challenged to be more compassionate each day in simple ways. What act of compassion have you done for someone today?

Till the next cup of java from the backporch...

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