It’s the last assignment for Compassion Blog Month 2013, and this week the Compassion bloggers have been asked to think about a quote from Johnny Carr. Having pastored several churches and written a book on caring for orphans, he says:: “Poverty is not necessarily an issue to solve; it is an opportunity to serve.”
To be honest, I don’t find the quote particularly inspiring. I know I’ve shared this video more than once before on the blog, but it is good to think how far we’ve come in the last 30 years and that we, as a generation, could end poverty in our lifetime. For me, poverty is an issue to solve, and it’s also an opportunity. Johnny says ‘An opportunity to serve’, but I wish he’d chosen a different word there; I wish he’d said: ‘An opportunity to love’. Because service to my mind is work: Maybe waitressing in a restaurant, preparing a sermon or teaching a class of children, but the way Compassion tackles poverty is so much more than that.
Yes, they have tutors at their centres, but their focus is on the individual child – ‘Changing the world, one child at a time’ as the slogan says – ‘Releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name’. Jesus is like that too. He spent hours talking to crowds of people, but what do we remember most about Him? We remember how He treated the woman caught in adultery (John 8:2-11), healed the blind man (John 9), and spoke respectfully of the woman who cried on His feet and dried them with her hair (Luke 7:44). We remember His focus on that life … or that life … or that life – one life at a time.
Will you sponsor a child through Compassion? In your prayers and the letters you send, will you be Christ-like to them, and make it your opportunity to love?