This month, the Compassion Bloggers are thinking about whether there’s a Bible-verse that prompted them to serve people. I’ve thought about this and I’ve realised, for me, I don’t think there is. From when I first became a Christian, I just wanted to help people. This first showed itself through me picking up the phone to the Samaritans. I still remembered them coming to my school when I was 16 and just recovering from depression. I had been so impressed with them, I wanted to volunteer there and then, but they couldn’t have me because of my age. So, a few years later, as a new Christian, I went to their offices and started my training. I’m sorry to say it was fear that put an end to it. I knew people phoned when they were just at the point of dying, and as a 19-year-old, I couldn’t handle the fact I might have a call that would stay with me for the rest of my life.
Meanwhile, I was sitting in a pub one night with some friends. I can’t recall the whole conversation, but I said I wanted to help people, and the lady next to me said: “Have you thought about hospital radio?” I loved hospital radio. What saddened me as a trainee Samaritan was not being allowed to mention my faith, unless asked. It’s strange – wanting to help and yet not having the freedom to share what works for you. At hospital radio, there were no taboo subjects. I could just be myself, and when I eventually found the music side wasn’t for me, I moved on to something else that gave me contact with patients – hospital chaplaincy. Then there was the time a friend came for lunch and told me about Compassion, which you’ll know all about if you’ve read this blog from the beginning.
Here’s how it’s worked for me. I came to God because He loved me, and since then, He’s been opening the doors. Once I was involved in hospital radio, I heard Matthew 25 (about visiting the sick). After I became a sponsor, I started to come across verses about God’s heart for the poor, like Jeremiah 22:16: “’He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know Me?’ declares the LORD.” If anything, Bible-verses have been confirmations for me – not prompts. Has it been the same for you? Who told you to serve? If you go to the link below, you can see a list of other Compassion bloggers who’ve written on this topic. Maybe you’ll decide to write something yourself. Please tell me in the comments if you do because I’d love to read it.