Posts Tagged Compassion

The Mind of Anti-Christ

I’ve been following the protests in North Africa, particularly Egypt, and that led me to  works on non-violent protest by Gene Sharp, who is said to have influenced those in Tahrir Square.
As I rabbit-trailed onward I found this quote:

Pol Pot decided that a people so “stupid” as to refuse his ways and thoughts must be destroyed and re-educated through forced labor and “tbaung chawb” (hoe blade) to strike the necks of those with “incorrect” thinking. There is no gain to keep them, no loss to eliminate them, the Khmer Rouge said. Thus, Pol Pot killed the nation.- A. Gaffar Peang-Meth

I read it to the Magpie, “There is no gain to keep them, no loss to eliminate them.” and he immediately responded, “The mind of the anti-Christ.”

Think back and now, to dictators past and present, who thus shed the blood of their people without compunction, and your heart will tell you that this is true.

Whenever the church too, departs from the mindset of the God who is “not willing that any should perish” and thinks “There is no gain to keep them, no loss to eliminate them.” it has espoused the mindset of the enemy.


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He infected himself with her blood

I don’t know about you but I am attracted to stories of creative love and sacrifice.  They don’t grow old. I suspect that one reason is that they echo the greatest one of all. They are Christ like.

In 1942, Wladyslaw Misiuna, a teenager from Poland, was recruited by the Germans to help inmates at the concentration camp start a rabbit farm to supply furs for soldiers at the Russian front.  Misiuna felt responsible for the thirty young women he supervised.  He stuffed his coat pockets with bread, milk, carrots and potatoes and smuggled in food for them.

But one day, one of his workers, Deborah Salzberg, contracted a mysterious infection.  Misiuna was beside himself.  He knew if the Germans discovered the open lesions on her arms they would kill her.  He had to cure her, but how?  He took the simplest route.  He infected himself with her blood and when the lesions appeared, he went to a doctor in town.  The doctor prescribed a medication, which Misiuna then shared with Deborah Salzberg.  Both were cured and both survived the war.

From this article.

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Rickshaw Wallah in Delhi

Perhaps it is not the rich but the poor who have the most compassion and the greatest ability to give, because they have the greatest understanding of need.  I’ve certainly seen this demonstrated in Ghana, not by all, but by some.   It’s also true in Canada amongst those who experienced the depression, or who arrived here as immigrants.

Tonight I watched the movie “Amal” twice in a row.  Beautiful and touching- a story about a Rickshaw driver in Delhi who is set apart by uncommon decency, and uncommon chance, “as God wills.”  The fact that I have lived as a cultural nomad in both Ghana and India may have upped this movie’s poignancy for me but I think it should also have a wider appeal, particularly, perhaps to those who frequent this blog.

It’s a Canadian movie and we borrowed it from the public library, so if you’re in Canada it’s likely available from yours as well.

It’s trailer does not by any means do the movie sufficient justice, but it is there on the internet.

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God in the Alley

We attend a fairly large church- something around the 2,000 mark.  It means that it’s possible to walk through the swirl of between service bodies and not connect with someone familiar.  So Sunday I retreated to the church library, and despite my experience of past difficulties in remembering a church-borrowed book in the Sabbath rush to get out the door ( Why I normally just check through the 50 cent box of library discards- cause they don’t need returning.), I swiped three fairly recent looking books off a shelf- sans the help of a pair of glasses, and brought them home.

I hit pay dirt on the second.  This slim read of 130 pages is worth it.  It addresses being and seeing Jesus in a broken world, and is full of life stories from Toronto’s inner city.  It also has some good insights, and I quote:

“When I see that my brokenness, once acknowledged, becomes a place of meeting and an opportunity to dignify rather than dismiss or degrade others, I discover that my heart soars with the great hope that all my brokenness is ultimately redeemable in other ways . . . more than merely a series of painful experiences and personal failings to be survived; by the alchemy of grace, God will transmute it all into something of eternal value and beauty.

Suffering without meaning is the path to despair. Suffering with meaning is the trail to glory. And Jesus is the pioneer on that trail. There is no place we can go that he hasn’t been already.”

“It is a continual surprise that God is willing to pour his glory (“the glory of God in the face of Christ”) into a dusty, cracked-broken-jar of clay like me. It’s just as surprising when I see the glory leaking out through somebody else’s cracks. It’s so surprising that it’s easy to miss, easy to dispense with the ludicrous and faintly blasphemous notion that Jesus might be right here, right now.  Seeing is not necessarily believing. Sometimes it’s believing that allows me to see.”

God in the Alley, by Greg Paul, printed by Shaw Books.  Worth trolling your Church library for, or Amazon.

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And boy, do I have some small fixable problems (small being a relative term)

“Show us too many sick kids, unfair imprisonments or burned bodies and you won’t get a bigger donation, you’ll just get averted eyes.If you’ve got a small, fixable problem, people will rush to help, because people like to be on the winning side, take credit and do something that works. At least that’s what Seth Godin says

Which reminds me, I have a half a dozen young people who need a helping hand with schooling costs.

The way I figure it is:  in our rural area in Ghana 75% of our Junior High School students fail their grade nine exams.  That means that a young person, without a viable father figure helping him or her out, who actually passes the exams must have something between the ears and would be worth sponsoring to high school.  Only 50% of those who attend our rural high schools pass their government set national exams, where they compete against expensive well funded urban schools.  If those that pass represent the top fifteen per or less of their peers surely they too deserve a chance to go further.

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“We take counsel with our certitudes. . .

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you.
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
.–. Isaiah 49:15,16a

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Start small- Video back up!

Mother Theresa’s much quoted philosophy was, “If you can’t feed a hundred, feed one.”   I should stop  clutching my  five loaves and two fishes- they aren’t much of a hedge against the perils of my life, and trust in God’s power of multiplication.  I looked at this BBC news item because the Crossroads Church in Red Deer sponsors folks with not such a different focus, and thought.  Yes, God can grow compassion expressed in a small way to something bigger.

It was not by their sword, that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved them.
.–.Psalm 44:3\

August 28    Now the video’s back- but this time it’s fronted by an ad.  There must have been a demand, or Madonna’s comments made the site trendy- sigh.

p.s.  August 27 p.m.  Looks like the BBC doesn’t have the video of the Roma living on the Romanian dump, and the small Dutch nursery school that was feeding, teaching, and washing clothes for a dozen children or so, up on it’s site at present.  I wonder why it came down so fast.  Perhaps they’ll put it back up again and the link posted on this blog will be worth something.  It was a well done piece of video.

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