Sunday, January 6, 2008

Let There be Compassion in the World

Compassion! This will be my goal this year. Our new pastor has shared in his first message “Who is Man?” that ”showing compassion can change the world”.
He says that

“Man (or woman) is God’s primary tool to alleviate suffering and pain in this world and God’s secondary means by which to draw all men unto Himself”.

- Jeff Vines, Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in San Dimas, CA

I have always worked toward this aim (compassion) and it is clear to me that I need to focus even more on how to demonstrate more compassion than ever before. This is not to say that I am compassionless. On the contrary, everyone who knows me, knows that all that I do focuses on compassion: in my work as a Head Start Nurse, working with low income families, in my family opening my home as a sanctuary for them to return when overwhelmed, and in my hobbies of knitting and spinning and crocheting. I have never been the partying, shopping, self-indulgent, me-focused person, I unfortunately see so much in this world.

So…in brainstorming, I am trying to figure out a list of things I can do to show Compassion. Here’s my list so far…..

1. Knit a hat for a homeless person.
2. Knit a shawl or slippers for a senior.
3. Bake something for a neighbor.
4. Be a good listener to the lonely.
5. Communicate with my elderly parents at least once a week.
6. Think about starting a knitting group or craft group.
7. Reflect of scripture to receive direction.
8. Pray daily.
9. Plan some time to have some compassion for me when feeling burnt-out.
10. Check out church compassion ministries to see if there is something I can do within my time frame and limitations.
11. Donate to our community food bank or service clubs.
12. Carry food gift certificates to give to spontaneous encounters with people who are homeless.
13. Knit a child a sweater or hoodie.
14. Be as flexible as possible. Be willing to let things go, to help with a situation that comes up.
15. Make an effort to attend funerals and support the grieving.
16. Don’t forget about those who have lost loved ones this year. Send a note of encouragement.
17. Send a care package to a soldier.
18. Knit a helmet liner or convertible gloves for a soldier.
19. Make some cool collars for soldiers for the summer. For those who do not know what this is. This is a strip of fabric, sewn in a 1-in tube, filled with special absorble beads (purchased from a garden shop) that expands and swells into a gel when soaked in water. One wears this around your neck to keep your head cool in hot weather. It is very portable and makes a big difference in 100 degree weather.
20. Encourage someone to learn to knit. Prepare some “learn to knit” kits to give out with old unused needles. A good use of my acrylic yarn.

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