It was Friday night. I drove into the small, sweet town of Murray, Ky., after a wedding rehearsal dinner to stay with one of my best friends before the next day’s wedding brought pearls, pale pink flowers and a few Kleenexes into our lives.
My rehearsal dinner dress and heels were quickly ditched for sweat pants and socks as Kaitlin and I swapped a few crazy jokes and stories, before deciding to go for a drive. We stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and water, rolled the windows down and just started driving. We didn’t know where we were going, we just decided to go on a random, semi-late night adventure.
We turned on Main Street and drove past the little court square, past some of the industrial plants and into a side of Murray I didn’t know existed, even though I lived there for three years during college. We turned down a few random side streets and finally found one that wasn’t a dead end (apologies to all the random driveways we had to turn around in).
The road we ending up taking, led us deep into beautiful farmland and it was there we saw them.
No city lights.
No illuminated football fields.
No streetlights or headlights.
Just a rich, black sky and a few thousand sparkling stars.
“You can see the stars really well out here,” Kaitlin said.
You really could. They were so beautiful.
“Light is brightest against the backdrop of darkness.
Diamonds are most brilliant against a backcloth of black velvet.
Until what takes your breath away is not the gravity of the problem but the power of God to heal it—one touch, one person at a time.” -Priscilla Shirer
We saw the stars so clearly in the country because they were no longer competing with the lights in the city.
In this resolution, Shirer unpacks
“If we aren’t deliberately, purposefully resolved to help people in practical ways and encourage others to do the same, we will be forever lopsided, guilty of doing only half of what God’s people have been called to do.” -Shirer
We aren’t called to either preach the Gospel or serve others. We’re called to both.
Isn’t that what Jesus did?
“Throughout the Scriptures we see the portrait of a Man who didn’t walk blindly down the dusty, ancient roads of His day, bypassing human devastation and need without a second glance. Rather, He paid close attention. He was moved with compassion. He stopped to care for those who were disenfranchised and distressed.
“He didn’t turn a blind eye to people’s physical needs in order to get to the ‘more important’ spiritual one.
“You and I are to be women resolved to do the same. We are part of the church—His church—God’s
answer for the desperation of our time. If we only attend women’s conferences, read encouraging books, listen to sermons, sing worship songs, and yet do little if anything to help others in a tangible way, we relegate our demonstration of His gospel to an impotent, watered-down, self-absorbed exercise.”
If you didn’t read that last paragraph, or if you just blazed through it, go back and read it again.
I’m serious. Go do it.
Do we feel empathy as a clichéd emotion or do we feel as Jesus did?
“It was s deep, gut-wrenching reaction that, according to many commentators, would affect Him physically—the equivalent of having an uneasy stomach. How did He choose to respond to that? He didn’t go home, hoping that a good nap would cause His sadness and irritation to wear off. He took His broken heart as a sign to do something, to act in accordance with the Father’s will. He went. He served. He listened. He healed.”
So what tugs at your heart? What causes your stomach to feel uneasy?
Take that as your cue to respond, like a woman resolved to compassion.
“Yes, you can have it—a godly sympathy that leads to action. You must have it. Because your world is waiting to experience Christ through you. … If we really believe the gospel that Christ came to preach, then we will live like it—even if it means dealing with the discomfort His commands may cause.”
- What global or local devastations are you currently seeing that stir compassion in your heart?
- What has kept you from doing something to help?
- What is one thing you can do and would be willing to make time to do?
- Perhaps you’ve been burned when trying to reach out too drastically. People have taken advantage of you or misunderstood your motives. But when you go to minister Christ’s love to another person, what is your real reason for going? What’s a better way to evaluate your success than with measurable, feel-good results alone?
In Christ alone,
My name is Sophie McDonald, I’m 24 years old and the Assistant Editor of Real Truth Matters Magazine, an interactive Christian web magazine designed primarily for iPads but also available for viewing online.
I graduated from Murray State University in 2012 with a degree in journalism and another in youth and nonprofit leadership and I am absolutely in love with Jesus. He is my Creator, my Savior and my best friend. I desire all the nations to know the Lord is God and besides Him there is no other and that with Him is steadfast love and plentiful redemption.
My highest goal is to show the people around me the love that God has shown me through His Son. I want to be like the moon… a reflection of the Son.