Thoughts on Being the Compassion of Christ

My story of Donald

Jenny Calvert
Mustard Seed Sentinel

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Photo by Jorg Karg on Unsplash

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:14–17, NIV)

I saw him sitting alone on the low wall. I had an apple in my hand and felt good about myself. After all, the offering did not cost me a thing. Pretty apples just sitting there in a big pile in the hotel lobby, when outside the door were people who had no homes, no food, nothing really. The man was one of them.

So I sat down beside him and offered him the apple. He looked at me and said, “No, thank you. I can’t eat it. I don’t have any teeth.” He opened his mouth so that I could see his toothless situation. I was deflated.

Wow, I thought, here I take an apple from a hotel lobby, thinking of doing a good deed, and offer it to a poor man with no teeth. My gift was pathetic, and so were my efforts.

So I sat there and just talked to him. I learned his name was Donald. He did not seem to be under the influence of anything, and he told me a little about his life. He was just a worn-down older man without a home. He told me a group of church ladies once prayed for him. Somehow, that seemed a comparison to my offer of an apple.

Secretly, I prayed, asking God for direction. I went back to my hotel on a new mission. I got a little money and walked back to where Donald was sitting. I gave him the money and said, “Donald, my husband is at a business dinner. I will be eating alone. Would you like to be my guest for dinner?” His answer was, “Yes.”

So we marched over there to that fancy Omni Hotel, Donald in his worn clothes with his backpack slung over his shoulder and me. We walked right into that elaborate lobby, past the pretty display of apples, and entered the fancy restaurant with white tablecloths.

The waiter was kind, and the chef even sent something special to our table. Donald and I had a wonderful dinner and engaging conversation. He was a lovely man, and I enjoyed his company.

I thought about pitching an advertisement for Jesus, but it was unnecessary. Selling Christ was not what God wanted. I did pray before the meal and interjected Christ in our conversation, but other than that, I just showed him God’s love. After dinner, I gave him a big hug and let him go.

We don’t always need to have an agenda to sell. Sometimes, this is all our ministry requires — just showing God’s love. Being the compassion of God speaks volumes.

When God gives you a nudge to buy a sandwich, soda, or a bag of goodies to give to someone, do it. I know a lady who felt the nudge to give another lady her red purse. She went to her car, unloaded its contents, and gave it away. It was an odd request from God, but she felt better for listening and obeying.

You see, it was not a red purse but love she gave. When we do it in the name of Christ, it is the same as doing it for Him.

Do you want to sell Jesus to others? The best sales pitch is being the compassion of Christ.

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Jenny Calvert
Mustard Seed Sentinel

Jenny is a Christian devotional writer. She writes for several magazines, books, and online venues, sharing the peace, hope, and light of Christ.