Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Saturday, August 1

Today’s Readings: Psalm 106:24-48; 2 Samuel 12:1-14; Mark 8:1-10; Acts 23:12-30; Psalm 51

I have many memories of my mother that I’ve accumulated over the years. One of the most defining was something that happened several years ago as we were driving down the street. My mother and I had spent the day in the big city (Spokane, WA) running errands. I was ready to take her back home when our car approached someone standing alongside the road with a sign asking for financial help so that the person could feed his children. Over the years, I had become somewhat hardened to the sight so I rarely stopped to offer help. “Why don’t you pull over for a minute?” my mother said. “Why?” I asked. “So I can give the person some money,” she replied. “But why would you want to do that?” I said, “He’ll probably use the money to buy alcohol. He’s probably lying about his situation.” “But what if he’s not?” my mother said. I knew her wonderful compassion had won the day - so I pulled the car over so we could give the individual some money. In a day and age when it’s so easy to become hardened and look through those in need, my mother reminded me there was another way of being as well. I was reminded of that experience when I read today’s Gospel passage from Mark. In that passage, most folks around Jesus would have looked at the crowd that had been hanging around Jesus for three days and thought to themselves, “If these people are hungry, it’s their own fault. They either should have brought provisions they could be eating right now, or they could have had the good sense to go home before now. Either way it’s their own fault!” Jesus chose to see the situation differently. “This crowd is breaking my heart,” Jesus began. “They have stuck with me for three days, and now they have nothing to eat” (Mark 8:2-3 from The Message). Those words – and my mother’s example – remind me how important it is that we never lose sight of compassion. While the world may tell us that we may have every reason to be cynical and jaded, Jesus reminds us none of those reasons are good enough to prevent us from being compassionate. Til next time…

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