Central Baptist Church is encouraging our community to participate in a “Day of Compassion” during the week of January 21-27 1.
The reasoning behind this call is simple. Central supports a number of fine missions and continues to be a generous community in many ways, but it’s our hope that participation in this call to practice a shared spiritual disicpline will remind us of an important truth. We are each of us extensions of the Kingdom of Heaven, and witnesses for the Gospel. Yes, compassion is something we are called to practice every day, but when we set aside a specific time to exercise a discipline, it can help the renew the joy experienced through its practice.
The invitation to practice a Day of Compassion is wide-open. Each member of our community is encouraged to spend 24 hours focused on showing compassion both in their specific context and in a way which matches their personality. This allows people be creative in their pursuits, and will hopefully show just how wide the practice of Christian compassion can be. Yet the problem with wide-open invitations is they sometimes feel overwhelming. Because there are so many options it’s difficult to spend time focusing down to just one idea, and sometimes the stress of needing to focus on just one idea can leave us feeling as though participation were impossible.
As the pastor of Central Baptist, I feel called to help shepherd folks in the practice of their faith. And to follow this calling I need to lead by example. To that end, allow me to share with you what I have in mind for my own Day of Compassion. I hope it helps others to find their own paths for participation.
Be My Eyes
A couple of years ago I was made me aware of an iOS app meant to be a help to the visually impaired community, Be My Eyes. Through this app sighted voluneers can help visually impaired people through the use of smart phone cameras. Volunteers can read labels, choose between products, or identify local points of reference. I thought it was a great idea, and downloaded the app the same day it was shared with me.
And then it sat on my iPad. Not forgotten, just pushed back becuse I was concentrating on more immediate tasks. But I have always wanted to activate my volunteer account and, thanks to the encouragement of our Day Of Compassion, now I will.
On Tuesday, January 22 I’ll be setting up my volunteer account and setting my status to “available.” And why am waiting until Tuesday? Because that’s a day when I’m busy. Tuesday is a day when I’m usually up at ABCNJ’s region office and working through one urgent task after another. By making myself to help people who are outside the immediacy of my projects I’m reminding myself that compassion needs to come before my sense of personal productivity. It’s my desire to make this a regular discipline.
Want to Participate?
At Central Baptist we’re hoping out entire Community, including our online friends, will participate in this opportunity. So I’d like to extend this invitation to my blog readers as well. Would you be be willing to take one day to practice a specific expression compassion in your context? If you’d like to participate, leave a comment letting people know what you’re planning to do. Every idea shared gives others a better idea of just how creative they can be.
- The week of MLK day in the US. ↩