On Sunday morning we went to hear our friend Michelle (pictured below -- she's the face in the middle) preach.
We first met Michelle in 2007 when we came to Mexico for the first time, she was part of our year team. During a retreat we had over the course of the year when we had to describe ourselves through a picture, Michelle drew herself as a bleeding heart. She is someone who truly has a heart for those who are lost, for the forgotten and ignored. While in Mexico, Michelle, who is a teacher, worked at a Compassion International project on the outside of Mexico city. When our first year drew to a close, Michelle decided that God was calling her to a second year in Mexico instead of going home. As a friend it is so amazing to see how much God has worked in and through Michelle the past couple of years. I feel like one of the greatest lessons he has taught her was expressed through her sermon on Sunday, and that is compassion. It was so good in fact, that I wanted to share some of the highlights here on our blog. I feel like the lesson God has been teaching her is one we all need to hear.
Michelle reminded us that as children of God we are to reflect our father, just like when people look at us here they are often reminded of how we look like our earthly parents. One of our Father God's most astounding attributes is his compassion. Michelle reminded us that to truly be compassionate as our Father is compassionate we must first SEE, then FEEL, and last but certainly not least, ACT. We cannot be compassionate if we do not incorporate each of these elements, we must see the world as God sees it, allow our hearts to be moved by the things that move the heart of our Father, and then act as our Lord did when he was here on earth.
I want to leave you with the verses from Isaiah which intially brought Michelle to Mexico, and which were the theme for last year's Spearhead program: Isaiah 58:6-12. I encourage you to read and reflect on the whole chapter, it offers quite a challenge.
6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords
of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break
every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the
hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with
shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and
your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness
will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be
your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the LORD
will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say:
Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if
you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy
the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in
the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your
needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen
your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a
spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will
rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old
foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.