In 1989, my husband and I met a couple at church that became very dear friends to us. They had a daughter and a younger son. The husband was blind, diabetic, and had undergone a kidney transplant and dialysis. He was a patient with numerous medical complications. His wife also had several disorders.
As God would have it, the ladies of the church planned a weekend retreat. One of Webster’s definitions for a retreat is to move away from something disagreeable, difficult or dangerous. An antonym is advance. What we really experienced was an advancement of our spirit, body, and soul: mind, will, emotions and intellect. Engulfed and empowered by the presence of the Lord, we were propelled to further advance the kingdom of God in the earth. Praise and worship lifted us to new heights of glorifying Jesus during this time. Anointed leaders challenged and inspired us to a deeper walk. The fellowship was grand and the food was delectable - that down-home southern cooking like Grandma used to do. Really! All the food was homemade and homegrown.
How often do we attempt maneuvers without assessing the dangers involved?
It was a much-needed getaway for the women and the schedule did allow for some rest and relaxation. We went for a swim in Lake Tiak O’Khata. Actually, I played in the shallow part after I nearly drowned. Now I understand what is meant when I hear one say, “My life flashed before my eyes.” I descended in a manner that caused me to torpedo from the slide into the deep. My friend, Nelda was a very good swimmer but was not nearby. However, she sensed that I was in grave danger and quickly made her way to be of assistance to me. How often do we attempt maneuvers without assessing the dangers involved? Time was of the essence so I cried out to the Lord to save me. The water was murky and I thought I would soon meet my Creator. Honestly, I don’t even remember how I made it back to safety, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord is the responsible party. I felt myself gliding through the water back to the shallow area. The Lord had compassion on me.
The Psalmist said, “In my distress, I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. (Psalms 18:6)
On the drive to Louisville, the wife and I just happened to ride in the same vehicle – in the back seat – side-by-side – with one other person in the rear. This was in no way a chance encounter. I don’t even believe in that. Although three other ladies accompanied us in this car, I do not remember who they were – only Sandy. Of course, it was a divine set up – for both of us. The Father had at least a four-fold purpose:
· for Sandy to share her heartbreaking story with me
· for compassion to move me to minister to the needs of that family
· for our families to build a relationship
· for the two of them to minister to us when my husband was diagnosed with kidney failure four years later
That family’s plight made an indelible mark on my mind. I listened and was filled with compassion. The very nature of the word compassion is a call to action.
Compassion is an emotion accompanied by action.
Sympathy is the feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else’s trouble, grief, misfortune, etcetera.
Matthew 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Matthew 20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes:
and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
Ken and I didn‘t have much money, but we wanted to help. I remember the Lord telling me to use what was in my hand. My husband and I would go out to their house in the country and do whatever we could find for our hands to do. After helping around the house, we would often have praise sessions because Norman played the guitar until he lost his fingers. We would be on such a spiritual high when we left. I think we benefitted more than our friends did.
My family, including my deceased mother and father, loves to give to deserving people and organizations as much as we possibly can. But giving is not just about money. Give your time, your love, your talent, and whatever the Lord lays on your heart. Get creative, if you want to give. Where there is a will, you can always find a way to do so.
My favorite foundation is the 501c(3) that was birthed out of the heart of our deceased daughter to aid HER2 Triple Negative breast cancer patients and the homeless: KSimsFoundation.org
Look at what's in your hands (not just your wallet) and use it to help someone else.