Stories are great. They connect, inspire and challenge us. A good story can cause us to see the world differently. That’s why we tell them and share them. Someone gets up in front of the church and shares and we’re all changed and different than when we walked in.
But sometimes I step back and say ‘but that’s your story and I can’t do that’. Oh, you gave up everything you own – great! But I still really like my stuff. Yes I do think that breaking down the system of oppression is an amazing goal. I’m just not really there yet.
We often get to hear from and meet these amazing people do thing these things that we know are from God, but we also know that’s not where we’re at.
Someday I hope to be able to make huge systemic changes and impact the entire world. But where do I start so I can build up to that? Where do I start to change my life from the one I live now to the life of compassion? There has to be something I can do in my current workplace now with the people I see day by day.
Well, look no further then right here … unless you want to hold on to the idea that you don’t know what to do or can’t do anything where you’re at now. In that case, keep ‘looking’ elsewhere.
It’s a big list. Pick something. Commit to do one thing this weekend. Commit to do one compassionate act a day. Commit to do the same act of compassion every day for a week. Sit with your Home Church and have the group choose one. Let the whole Home Church commit to try every day for a week to do ___________ and then talk about it next week. What happened? Did it work? Did it fail? Did you even notice?
Okay, so the list:
– Ask your neighbour to do an Aids Care kit with you, donate to your kit, help with the cost of the card;
– Community party – go door to door to invite your neighbours;
– Take food to a neighbour as an easy intro;
– Make dinner for someone in your neighbourhood who is in need, and eat with them;
– Find a worthy community group and volunteer consistently with them;
– Invest in a neighbour simply to build a relationship with them (watch sports, go out for drinks, must be done with no ulterior motive);
– Walk at the same time each day with an open invitation extended to neighbours to join you;
– Always have time to talk, and never be the one to end a conversation;
– Be generous once per day to someone you feel doesn’t deserve it;
– Say ‘yes’ to all requests for an hour, day, week, etc.;
– If you know of someone in need, instead of saying ‘let me know if there is anything I can do,’ draft a list of all the things you’re actually willing to do and give it to the person;
– Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone, and tell someone who you’ve chosen so they can hold you accountable;
– Shop consistently at the same stores, hair dresser, etc to build relationships;
– Serve with an organization that works with a population that is unfamiliar to you;
– Support people in your Home Church to go and do compassion (offer to watch all the kids, give them a ride, etc.);
– Offer free child care at the same time once a week so parents can shop, drink a coffee, etc. without the distraction of their kids;
– Start to mentor someone in your life and share the experience at home church so you can be held accountable;
– Plan time or have margins in your life so you can go deeper with some of your current relationships.
There you go. There are a lot of options there. Don’t try to do them all. Pick one that resonates, and when you think you’ve integrated it into your life pick another.
Do it in community with your Home Church. Talk about the struggles and the victories. Leave a note in the comments below or send me an email letting me know what you’re going to try.
Please pick something. Don’t go away from this saying ‘wow those are some great ideas’ without picking one to try.
Got more ideas? Leave a comment, the bigger the list the better.