“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” (Matthew 5:7, The Message)
My NaNa & PaPa (my grandparents) have always been formative to my faith. I have watched them over the years take in sick friends or family/church members and take care of them until they were well; take meals to those who just got home from the hospital; visit with neighbors who can’t get out of their own homes; invite those who aren’t able to be with family for Christmas to our family Christmas breakfast. And the list could go on. It would be nothing to show up at their house one day and find someone there, being taken care of. It instilled in us the importance of looking out for each other. They have always been full of care for others.
I like how “The Message” equates mercy with one who is being “care-full”. Mercy is more than just a feeling or a sentiment. It is a practice. It is a way of life. Perhaps this is why John Wesley referred to acts of kindness and service as works of mercy. It is an expression of the grace we have so freely received from Christ.
Emily has walked with young women in India and Sudan whose lives are on a delicate line between being full of care and full of despair. Emily has walked with these young women, filling them with her care and love. As Emily writes on her blog SixEight Life:
My sweet friends Nancy, Parumsheela, and Nurul are a mere step away from becoming victims. They walk a delicate line in their communities of relative safety and extreme exploitation and victimization. Their families may be one small loan away from complete slavery. They could be one short walk to a well away from being raped.
Emily is full of care. These young women, and others like them, may be millions of steps away or simply seconds away. The reality is that they are in need of care. Being full of care, we can take the risks and boldly step out to care and nurture others.
Christ embodied this way of life. When you read any of the four Gospels, you’ll see how Christ took the cross willingly because he was so “care-full” for all of humanity. Because Christ has given so freely, so we too can give.
How are you “care-full”? How do you express God’s grace?
Pray: Lord, thank you for those in our lives who serve as faith mentors teaching us by their actions to be “care-full” for others. Amen.