Strong spirits: capable and compassionate


Photo: Lars Plougmann

How capable are you? Are you confident in your own abilities? Do you know what those are?

Jesus, I believe, was the most confident and capable person to ever walk the earth. The stories of his life bear this out.

As one example, there was a time when a huge crowd followed him, hanging on his every word. For days. And they were getting hungry. And so Jesus, capable person that he was, fed them all on just a few loaves and a few fish. You may know the story. You can find it in John chapter 6. What most people notice is that Jesus was able to feed a huge crowd with a very small amount of food. By all accounts, a miracle.

But the capacity I'm most taken with in the story is his capacity for compassion. All those people, all those days He must have been exhausted. And yet he had compassion on them and met their immediate need.

I don't think that in myself I have the capacity for miracles. I do think that God in me makes all things possible. And while he has yet to ask me to feed a crowd, he has asked me to be compassionate. I need his help for that assignment as much as for the other. What a difference in our world if we each - with his help - chose to be compassionate every day.

Who needs your compassion today?

Besides serving as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church, Gary Schwerin is the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - to see them all, subscribe to our daily email.

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