Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:14-18.)
In 2003 I became a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). My passion for wanting to help abused and neglected children began in middle school when I read the book DEATH FROM CHILD ABUSE AND NO ONE HEARD by Eve Krupinski and Dana Weikel. This disturbing, haunting story of the last days of precious, five year old Ursula Sunshine Assaid left a lasting impression on me. I remember as I was reading the account I wanted to reach into the paperback and pull the little girl out. “Come with me,” I imagined saying, “I’ll help you.” And, assisting children has been a desire of mine ever since…whether it’s advocating for them, offering them a safe place to hang out, or adoption.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27. ESV.)
I met a lovely lady recently who was telling me how she used to volunteer at a women and children’s shelter. Visiting their world gave her a better understanding of their hardship. Being a CASA volunteer helped me empathize with children in the foster care and dependency court system. Missionaries who have gone to other countries and got a taste of their suffering are more compassionate to their burdens.
In my opinion, stepping outside the safety of our own comfort zones helps us to be better followers of Christ. I feel it is extremely difficult to understand another person’s tribulation unless we have walked through it (or a portion of it) ourselves.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 4:8-11. ESV.)