Having a heart of compassion and acting upon it to meet the need (service) is a beautiful thing.
I do not know how it normally is for you, but every time when I see a need I am faced with a dilemma of either taking a step out from my comfort zone or to just ignore and bury the uncomfortable feeling of guilt.
One of the most memorable experiences that I’ve ever had was to go on a mission trip to South Africa in year 2012 where our team had the privilege to serve along-side a few Anglican pastors who take care of a few hundred children in different locations specifically at Polokwane, capital of the Limpopo province, South Africa. These children live in poverty and are most of the time left unattended as their parents had to go to work or worst still, high on drugs and incapable of taking care of them. The church responded to the need and organized Soup Kitchen for about 2 or 3 times weekly to feed these children. I spent about 21 days between Polokwane and Johannesburg and the experience changed me significantly. It made me realise how privileged I am to be living in Malaysia and how I have taken for granted the basic things in life such as clean water, food and clothing which are so readily available.
After the mission trip I was overwhelmed by the immense need (not only in South Africa per se) but for other parts of the world and felt helpless. But as I took time to reflect upon the days spent in South Africa and the activities we did as a team in sharing the gospel, teaching the kids (English, Mathematics) and spent time with them it wasn’t so much of what we had given or imparted to them. But how much they have taught us that even in having the simpler things in life (just basic needs, nothing fancy) and in times of need there is still joy in the Lord. Responding to needs doesn’t necessarily make huge impact or changes, but it certainly changes me (my heart).
Another lesson leaned is that – I don’t have to take a 20 hours flight to South Africa to meet the needs of those children only, but to look around me and attend to the needs of the people in my sphere (in my office) by the guidance of the Holy Spirit while being ready and available to do so – that is what I think having a heart of compassion is about.
James 4:17 says “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” Now, to just take that one verse on its own may sound legalistic. But if we take the entire gospel in its totality of which the foundation is love (for God and for others) which requires effort and commitment then James 4:17 is in fact a good reminder of the purpose why we are here on earth.
So whether it’s a concern that Trump is building wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, or the protection of the Rohingya refugees in Malaysia or the call to go for mission trips – the heart of the matter is, the matter of the heart. The act of sincere service flows from a heart of compassion. While a heart of compassion comes from a heart that is filled with love and gratitude. And a heart that is filled with love and gratitude comes from the knowledge of being loved and accepted by the God. And God is love.
Hello, my name is Timmie and I’m from Malaysia. I am a lawyer by profession. I am a charismatic, passionate person and enjoy beautiful things in life such as travelling to different cities to appreciate the culture. I love fashion and appreciate ‘coffee time’ with people to talk about life and build meaningful relationships. I’m passionate about the things of God, the Church and authentic leadership. My deepest desire is to embrace all that God has called me to be and be a blessing to whoever that God has placed in my life past, present and future. Our God is a GREAT God, and the best is yet to come !