Birthday cards. They're almost out of style, especially with facebook at our fingertips. This morning our daughter, Laura, and I picked out and addressed birthday cards, laughing at pictures and words as we considered each name and whether they would appreciate being an "inspiration" or laugh at a gloppy picture of gummy bears. Last Saturday we purchased the cards at a nearby Amish store (which is an adventure in itself) and, referring to our simple spreadsheet, we addressed and dated cards for those on my husband's deacon care list and in our Sunday school class.
Why? Each photo, each message, is an expression of love, a remembrance of times together, a tribute to life. To love--to have compassion--is to act, to reach out, to see and feel another's experience. And respond. A birthday card is simple way to knock on the door of someone's life. But our calling is so much greater. When I walk as one who bears Jesus' name, my heart sees the needs of others and, as Jesus works through me, my agenda dissipates. His prevails.
"But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’"
"...when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest" (Matthew 9:13, 36-38).
To follow Jesus is to love, to have mercy, to be and to pray for laborers of His harvest.